Main | Sunday, January 18, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS: Archdiocese Declares Bankruptcy, Freezing Molestation Suits

Via the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune:
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Friday, becoming the 12th in the nation to say its treasury cannot withstand the unprecedented wave of lawsuits from clergy abuse victims. The move freezes lawsuits against the church, protecting the archdiocese from creditors while allowing it to develop a reorganization plan. It also halts three abuse trials scheduled to begin Jan. 26. The archdiocese is facing more than 20 lawsuits, with another 100 pending. The bankruptcy filing didn’t provide precise financial figures, but showed estimated liabilities of $50 million to $100 million, estimated assets of $10 million to $50 million, and estimated creditors of 200 to 999. “Reorganization will allow the finite resources of the archdiocese to be distributed equitably among all victims/survivors,” said Archbishop John Nienstedt. “It will also permit the archdiocese to provide essential services required to continue its mission.” The bankruptcy filing will allow the archdiocese to continue its daily operations while giving it time to reorganize its finances as a judge determines how much victims may be entitled to receive.
PREVIOUSLY ON JMG: Last summer Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt was accused of "sexual impropriety" with priests and other men. Nienstedt then denied allegations that he is gay to a local newspaper. Niedstedt was later grilled by a different local paper about his sexuality. In January 2012, Nienstedt ordered all of Minnesota's priests to remain silent if they opposed the coming referendum on same-sex marriage. Later in 2012, it was Nienstedt's ugly anti-gay public letter that launched NFL player Chris Kluwe into the spotlight after Kluwe penned a blistering response in a local newspaper. In September of that year Nienstedt declared that Satan loves sodomy. Also in September 2012, Nienstedt was accused of shielding a pedophile priest who is currently in prison. In 2010 Nienstedt ordered that communion be denied to openly gay students. Also in 2010, Nienstedt's archdiocese sent out 400,000 DVDs to Minnesota voters urging that they support anti-gay gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer.

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