Archbishop Hebda: Goal is ‘fair compensation as soon as possible’ for victims

| March 30, 2017 | 0 Comments

In a March 26 letter and video message to local Catholics, Archbishop Bernard Hebda said that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is hoping to soon resolve its Chapter 11 Reorganization and provide fair compensation for victims/survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

“I can assure you that our goal has been to provide fair compensation as soon as possible,” he said. “We have liquidated possessions, sold buildings, collected other assets, and negotiated with insurance carriers. We have managed to gather more than $155 million dollars, all with the hope of compensating claimants and finally bringing an end to the bankruptcy.”

He noted that “those who have been harmed deserve justice sooner rather than later” and “that prolonged litigation works counter to our desire to  maximize the amount available for victims because of legal fees and costs.”

The letter marked the one-year anniversary of Archbishop Hebda being named the archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He said his message was intended to offer updates, seek advice and express gratitude.

Archbishop Hebda acknowledged that his appointment came at a “time of considerable uncertainty and unrest” amid “a call for justice and a need for healing, reform and action.”

“I can assure you that through consultation and purposeful corrective actions, and with an unwavering commitment to improve, we are together building a healthier, more responsive and more accountable local Church,” he wrote, noting the settlement agreement the archdiocese entered into with Ramsey County Attorney’s Office in December 2015 for oversight of its child protection protocols.

He acknowledged that uncertainties surrounding the bankruptcy “have made it difficult for many of our parishes and parishioners to stay focused on our mission” and asked for prayers that the bankruptcy might soon be resolved.

He also asked Catholics to continue to pray for victims of clergy sexual abuse and to share ideas on how the Church can better help them.

“I can attest that many have suffered in silence for a long, long time,” he said. “It may be someone sitting next to you at Mass, on the bus or a train, or at your family dining table. We want to create welcoming environments for those who have been harmed while embedding into our culture the changes necessary to create the safest possible environments for all.”

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Category: Local News