The Catholic Diocese of St. Cloud has settled a lawsuit for accusations of clergy sex abuse.
The $22.5 million settlement by the diocese is meant to compensate the sex abuse survivors accusing priests of molesting them decades ago. The settlement is part of an agreement that the diocese will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection “in the near future.”
St. Cloud Bishop Donald Kettler, put out a press release apologizing to the victims of sex abuse by the priests and said he was committed to “assist in the healing of all those who have been hurt.”
In 2018, the Diocese announced that it planned to file for bankruptcy after several claims of sexual abuse of minors came out. Those claims were filed under the Child Victims Act, which allows a window to lift the statute of limitations for adult survivors of childhood sex abuse to file a claim several years later.
Due to the over 74 cases filed, Bishop Kettler said Chapter 11 reorganization would be the only way to ensure that the diocese would be able to continue normal operations and the money would be distributed equitably to all victims.
The diocese released a list of 33 names of priests that allegedly abused minors and said it remains committed to disclosing the names of all clergy against whom what it calls credible claims of abuse have been made.
Several other dioceses have filed for bankruptcy protection because of sexual abuse allegations including the dioceses of Duluth, New Ulm, and Winona-Rochester and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.