Dozens of St. Paul & Minn. parishes prepare for lawsuits
A number of parishes implicated in child sex abuse claims should prepare for lawsuits related to those allegations to be filed before mid-May, according to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.continue at The Catholic Spirit
In a March 30 letter to members of parishes implicated in sexual abuse claims filed against the archdiocese, Archbishop-designate Bernard Hebda called the anticipated lawsuits “a normal part of the litigation process” and urged Catholics to heed Scripture and “do not be afraid.”
Archdiocesan officials have anticipated the suits since it filed for Reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in January 2015 in response to mounting claims of child sexual abuse by clergy. The archdiocese is aiming to resolve claims against individual parishes as part of its bankruptcy proceedings, but encourages parishes that are sued to consult their own attorneys.
“All parties involved — including dozens of insurance carriers that issued policies over the past six decades — are participating in mediation with the hope of settling the more than 400 sexual abuse claims that have been brought against the archdiocese and that presumably will soon be filed against parishes arising from the same facts,” Archbishop Hebda wrote.
Pastors and parish leaders at affected parishes were encouraged to provide information on the potential lawsuits to parishioners at Masses April 2-3.
Archdiocesan officials said many parishes were already preparing for the potential suits. The suits are related to the 2013 Child Victims Act, which lifted the statute of limitations in Minnesota through May 25 for the filing of civil lawsuits of child sex abuse.
That's right, they will go after parish funds.
On a side note, I had heard a rumor that Bishop Ricken was in line to get the St. Paul Minneapolis appointment, but something changed at the last minute. As we saw, Hebda was shocked himself as he expected to go back out east. Don't get me wrong, I think Hebda is good, but something weird happened there and I'm not sure anybody really knows yet.