Archdiocese: Jewelry sale part of Reorganization plan

| June 13, 2016 | 1 Comment

A ring valued at $236,000 is among jewelry the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis plans to sell as part of its plan for Reorganization, its Chief Financial Officer Thomas Mertens said in a statement June 11.

The ring was a gift to the archdiocese from Archbishop John Gregory Murray, who led the archdiocese from 1931 to 1956. It is the most valuable jewelry item the archdiocese owns.

According to Mertens, the archdiocese’s jewelry and other valuable items were appraised prior to January 2015 as the archdiocese prepared to file for Reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The total appraised value of the jewelry was $265,400.

As stated in the plan for Reorganization the archdiocese filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court May 26, it plans to sell non-essential items without liturgical value to compensate people who have filed claims against the archdiocese, including victims of clergy sex abuse.

In addition to jewelry, the archdiocese’s filing also listed books, maps, documents, autographs and religious objects, such as crosiers, with a combined value of $94,378. Mertens said that non-essential, non-liturgical items will also be sold.

Mertens released the statement in response to a letter submitted to the court June 9 alleging that the archdiocese left three shoeboxes of jewelry and 19th-century art worth at least $130,000 each with Bockstruck Jewelers in St. Paul in the mid-1990s. Bockstruck Jewelers closed in 2006.

“We are unaware of any consignment of valuables by the Archdiocese to Bockstruck Jewelers or to anyone else,” Mertens said.

He encouraged anyone with knowledge of valuables belonging to the archdiocese to bring it to the attention of Tim O’Malley, the director of the archdiocese’ Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment, at 651-291-4400.

“If we find any indication of criminal activity, the appropriate local or federal law enforcement agency will be notified immediately,” Mertens said.

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Category: Local News