The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is one step closer to resolving its bankruptcy and paying hundreds of victims of clergy sex abuse, the church said.
The church filed a reorganization plan Thursday in bankruptcy court that signifies an “important step” in paying out a record $210 million settlement announced last month, said Thomas Abood, chairman of the archdiocese’s reorganization task force.
“The key element of this plan is that it is a consensual agreement among all parties working to resolve the bankruptcy and bring a measure of financial justice to those who have been harmed while also allowing this local Church to continue in its mission,” Abood said.
The church said that the plan involves “significant” contributions from insurance policies purchased by the archdiocese and parishes, money from medical and “other insurance excess reserves” and “meaningful cash contributions” from the church and its parishes.
The archdiocese funded its cash contributions partly through the sale of properties and plans to continue offering $1 million a year for five years.
“This is an important day for sexual abuse survivors,” said Mike Finnegan, one of the victims’ attorneys in the settlement. “The filing of the joint reorganization plan is another step toward resolution. Thank you to all of the survivors who stood up and spoke their truths. Your voices were heard.”
The reorganization plan could still be “refined,” the church said, but would likely not be altered substantially before seeking the approval of U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel.
A hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 9.
The archdiocese sought bankruptcy protection in January 2015 in the wake of several clergy abuse lawsuits. When the settlement between the church and about 450 victims was announced in May, it was expected that the bulk of the settlement, $170 million, would be paid by more than 20 insurance carriers of the archdiocese and local parishes.
The church said that $40 million was expected to be paid by the archdiocese and individual parishes.