Forward Motions: Parishes to Seek More Say in Archdiocese Bankruptcy

Wall Street Journal


Thursday in Minnesota, about 113 parishes of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will argue they deserve their own voice as creditors in the archdiocese’s bankruptcy case.

Victims of alleged clergy sexual abuse and their advocates have called the parishes’ request to form an official committee “troubling,” saying another creditors’ committee would effectively give the archdiocese a place on both sides of the bargaining table.

More than 150 sexual-abuse victims have brought claims against the archdiocese since it filed for bankruptcy in January, in addition to more than 80 claims brought against individual parishes, court papers show.

Catholic dioceses have used the breathing room offered by chapter 11 to negotiate settlements with alleged victims of sexual abuse by clergy members and others, deals that can total many millions of dollars and include nonmonetary forms of compensation such as the release of long-shielded church documents detailing the alleged abuse and subsequent coverup.

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