Archbishop answers FAQs on assets, creditors and potential property sales

| Archbishop John Nienstedt for The Catholic Spirit | February 12, 2015 | 0 Comments

Q. Did the archdiocese create organizations like the CSAF to protect its assets from creditors during the Reorganization process?

A. No. The Catholic Services Appeal Foundation (CSAF) is a non-profit organization founded in 2013 to fund particular Catholic ministries. The basis of the formation of the foundation was to honor the intent of the donors. Donations are dedicated specifically to those specific ministries. The CSAF is similar in structure to other non-profit Catholic organizations such as the Catholic Community Foundation (founded in 1993), the Catholic Finance Corporation (founded in 2000), and the Aim Higher Foundation (founded in 2011). All of these organizations are separate from the archdiocese. You can read more about the work the CSAF does on pages 15-17.

Q. What documents were filed with the court on Jan. 30?

A. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis submitted to the bankruptcy court a schedule of the archdiocesan corporation’s assets, liabilities and creditors (in other words, a list of what it owns and what it owes) and a comprehensive statement of its financial affairs. This disclosure is part of the process that will allow available archdiocesan corporation resources to be distributed equitably among victims/survivors [of clergy sexual abuse] and allow the archdiocese to continue with essential ministries.

Q. I noticed parishes and schools have been disclosed as some form of creditors on this list. How does the recent submission to the court affect parishes and schools?

A. The submission of schedules in and of itself does not affect parishes, schools or other Catholic entities. These schedules simply show that some parishes and schools are creditors or potential creditors and/or have other financial interactions with the archdiocesan corporation.

A creditor is a party that has a claim to the assets, including payment for services provided or goods delivered.

Q. There are several parishes that are listed as co-debtors. What does that mean?

A. These parishes took out loans for various capital projects and improvements, and the archdiocese agreed to be a guarantor (similar to a co-signer for a loan). If the parish continues to make its loan payments to the bank that issued the loan, the archdiocese should not be affected and parish business should proceed as usual.

Q. Is the archdiocese considering selling some property?

A. That is a possibility. Property that could potentially be sold is the Chancery building, the Hayden building and the archbishop’s residence in an effort to decrease operating costs and use all available resources to help those affected by clergy sexual abuse while continuing the mission of the Church.

Q. During Reorganization, are the benefits of lay employees at my parish or the health or pension benefits of my pastor affected?

A. No. The court has determined that during the course of Reorganization, all archdiocese-sponsored benefits programs will continue as they have before the filing for Reorganization.

Q. What is the status of the mediation?

A. It is under way and ongoing. The archdiocese is working collaboratively with all parties to find a fair and equitable resolution for victims/survivors of clergy sexual abuse while continuing to carry out the mission of the Church in our communities.

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