A U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Thursday approved a St. Cloud Diocese reorganization plan that includes $22.5 million for survivors of clergy sex abuse.
The diocese filed for bankruptcy in June, just weeks after reaching the multimillion-dollar framework for compensating 72 abuse victims of 42 priests.
"I again want to apologize on behalf of the Church to the survivors of clergy sexual abuse,"said St. Cloud Diocese Bishop Donald Kettler in a statement released Friday.
"Coming forward took a great deal of courage," he said. "The church failed them [abuse victims] and I hope this helps them to move further along the path of healing and peace."
The settlement agreement and bankruptcy reorganization approval come six years after the diocese first made public a list of its priests credibly accused of sexual misconduct, with the abuse going back to the 1950s.
Attorney Jeff Anderson, who represented the St. Cloud victims, said he was "inspired" by the survivors who stepped forward and shared their pain.
"They are the champions and deserve the credit for this," said Anderson.
St. Cloud is among five dioceses and archdioceses in Minnesota that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy following clergy sex abuse claims. The New Ulm Diocese, Duluth Diocese and Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis have emerged from bankruptcy, said Anderson.
The Winona Diocese has not reached a resolution, he said.
The $22.5 million survivor fund will be administered by an independent trustee appointed by the bankruptcy court, with input from the committee representing survivors' interest, the diocese said.
The funds include $14 million in insurance coverage, $5.25 million in property sales, including the St. Cloud Children's Home, and $3.25 million in contributions from parishes and a line of credit.
The plan also calls for the diocese to create new child protection protocols that include greater transparency on child protection matters and the release of internal documents related to clergy sexual misconduct.