Archdiocese Fulfills Final $ 3M Obligation to Abuse Survivors in Bankruptcy Settlement
St. Paul, Minnesota – The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis announced on June 17 that it had fulfilled its remaining obligation of $ 3 million to survivors of clergy abuse by the date set out in its $ 210 million bankruptcy settlement.
Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda said in a statement: “With funds drawn from unexpected inheritance donations, and on the advice of the Archdiocesan Finance Council and the Board of Trustees [lay leaders who advise him on archdiocesan operations], the Archdiocese has decided to speed up its payment schedule, underscoring its sincere desire to help the survivors as quickly as possible by meeting our financial obligation sooner than expected. “
The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in January 2015 following growing complaints of clergy sexual abuse dating back to the 1940s.
Ultimately, 453 claims were filed against the Archdiocese during the claims filing period, most of which related to lawsuits brought against the Archdiocese during a three-year waiver of the statute of limitations. of child sexual abuse complaints in Minnesota.
In May 2018, the Archdiocese announced that it had reached a settlement of $ 210 million.
The $ 3 million is the balance of a $ 5 million promissory note as part of the bankruptcy settlement, in which the Archdiocese agreed to pay $ 1 million to the Abuse Survivors Trust each year for five years.
In a Dec. 17 report on the archdiocese’s 2020 fiscal year, Hebda noted two significant inheritance donations: one for $ 1.1 million and the other for $ 8.5 million. At that time, the payment of the balance of $ 3 million to the Abuse Survivors Trust was part of the recommendations of the Archdiocesan Finance Council and Board of Directors for the use of estate donations, a declared the archbishop.
While the payment now made ends the Archdiocese’s financial obligations under the bankruptcy agreement, Archdiocesan leaders remain committed to vigorously preventing abuse and supporting those who are victims of abuse, said the archbishop on June 17.
Additional funds from unexpected inheritance donations will also be used to help the Archdiocese build on the progress already made in creating and maintaining safe environments and preventing abuse, he said.
“I apologize and express my deep regret to those who have suffered abuse from the clergy and other members of the church,” Hebda said, “as well as their families and the religious community in broader sense that has been so deeply touched. Courageous survivors and their loved ones continue to generously share with me not only their deep wounds, but also their hopes for a better and more secure future. “
“I am very grateful to have the opportunity to listen to their stories, to celebrate with them the instances where the Lord has helped bring true healing to these wounds,” he continued. “I promise that under my watch this local church will always remember those who have been injured and strive to honor their frequent request to work together to ensure that what happened to them never happens to another. . “
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Ruff is editor-in-chief of The Catholic Spirit, a newspaper for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.