February 28, 2018
DEVELOPMENTS REGARDING CLAIMS AGAINST DIOCESE OF ST. CLOUD
The Minnesota Child Victims Act, which lifted for three years the civil statute of limitations for allegations of past sexual abuse of minors, ended in May 2016. During that time, a total of 74 civil claims were made against the Diocese of St. Cloud. The claims named 31 members of the clergy who served in the diocese and 30 parishes.
Since that time, Bishop Donald Kettler has met with pastors and representatives of the parishes named in the lawsuits. The bishop has continued to explore all options for resolving the claims with the goal of achieving a resolution that is fair and just for all parties involved.
On Feb. 28, Bishop Kettler met with pastors and trustees from all 131 parishes in the diocese to update them on developments concerning the lawsuits. After much prayer and discussion over the last 21 months, including ongoing consultation with attorneys for the diocese and for victims/survivors, the bishop informed those attending the meeting that the diocese plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.
At this time, no date has been set for this filing.
“This approach is the best way to ensure that available resources will be distributed equitably to all the victims and survivors, while allowing the diocese to continue its vital ministries that benefit the people of our 16 counties,” Bishop Kettler said. “I am committed to openness and transparency about how we are working to resolve these lawsuits. We will keep pastors and parishes informed about the process as it moves forward. I ask you to please continue to pray for healing for all victims and survivors of clergy sexual abuse.”
It is not expected that reorganization would affect the normal operations of parishes or Catholic schools in the diocese. Future updates will be available on the diocese’s website: https://stcdio.org, and in The Visitor, the diocese’s official newspaper.