Helena Diocese plans to file for bankruptcy reorganization


Jan 31, 2014 10:29 AM by Sanjay Talwani – MTN News

HELENA – The Diocese of Helena plans to file for financial reorganization in federal bankruptcy court on Friday, Jan. 31.

In a news release on Friday, the diocese called the move “a major step toward bringing resolution to 362 claims of abuse of minors by diocesan priests, religious community priests, women religious and lay workers who have served in the diocese, primarily between 30 and 60 years ago.”

The filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Butte results from negotiations with “known abuse survivors” and the diocese’s insurers.

“The Diocese chose a pastoral mode and entered into a confidential mediation process,” the diocese said.

Negotiations in the matter are still ongoing, but the settlement will include a $15 million fund for victims already identified, and additional funds for possible additional victims.

“On behalf of the entire Diocese of Helena, I express my profound sorrow and sincere apologies to anyone who was abused by a priest, a sister, or a lay Church worker,” Helena Bishop George Leo Thomas said in the statement . “No child should experience harm from anyone who serves in the Church.”

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