By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune OCTOBER 27, 2015
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will ask a bankruptcy judge Thursday for a second extension of its deadline to file its reorganization plan, arguing the extra time is needed to address the volume and complexity of sex abuse claims.
The church is now seeking an extension to May 31, 2016.
“There remains a number of difficult issues to be resolved before completion of the mediation process,” the archdiocese stated in its motion before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel. “As of the filing of this motion, 717 claims — including 416 claims alleging liability for sexual abuse — have been filed in this case.
“Each of these sexual abuse claims must be analyzed and negotiated by various constituencies … as part of the mediation process.”
Extending the deadline is not surprising, as the archdiocese has had less than three months to examine the full universe of abuse claims that poured in by the Aug. 3 filing deadline, said University of Minnesota law professor Christopher Soper. But it does have its drawbacks.
“The downside is it slows down the process and means more uncertainly for the creditors,” said Soper. “The whole point of this process is to figure out how much the church is going to pay to these 400 people. Until a plan is negotiated and approved, they don’t know how much they will be paid, or if they will be paid.”
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