The Catholic Diocese of Duluth filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday, a month after a victim of priest sex abuse there was awarded $8 million in damages. The diocese was found responsible for $4.8 million.continue at STrib
The northern Minnesota diocese is the 15th diocese in the nation to file for bankruptcy protection after clergy abuse litigation. It follows the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, which declared bankruptcy last January.
Given the "magnitude" of the jury's award, "the diocese was left with no choice but to file for reorganization," the Rev. James Bissonette, diocese vicar general, wrote in a public statement.
"There is sadness in having to proceed in this fashion," wrote Bissonette. "The decision to file today safeguards the limited assets of the diocese and will ensure that the resources of the diocese can be shared justly with all victims, while allowing the day-to-day operation of the work of the church to continue."
The diocese, on its website, notes that the $4.8 million award was greater than its annual operating budget of $3.2 million in the past fiscal year.