Timeline of archdiocese’s bankruptcy proceedings

| May 31, 2018 | 0 Comments

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has reached a consensual plan with a committee representing clergy sexual abuse survivors to resolve its bankruptcy, offering $210 million for restitution to claimants. The settlement is the largest ever reached in a bankruptcy case related to clergy sex abuse. The following is a look back at the key events leading up to and part of the bankruptcy proceedings.

MAY 2013 The Minnesota State Legislature passes the Minnesota Child Victims Act, which lifted for three years the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse civil suits.

JANUARY 2015 Amid mounting historic claims of child sexual abuse by priests and others associated with the Church, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis enters Chapter 11 Reorganization under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code as a means to distribute assets equitably and fairly among victims. Mediation between the archdiocese, creditors’ representatives and insurance carriers begins.

AUGUST 2015 The court-established deadline passes for all historic claims of child sex abuse against the archdiocese; 453 total claims are made from as far back as the 1940s. More than 67 percent of the claims are from the 1960s and 1970s.

JANUARY 2016 The archdiocese sells the first of its three Cathedral Hill properties; it would also sell a residence near Northfield. The sales of all four properties totaled almost $9 million, which was included as abuse survivor remuneration in its plan for Reorganization.

MAY 2016 The archdiocese files a plan for Reorganization, initially offering $65 million for abuse survivor remuneration. Over the course of the next months, it increased that amount — primarily through additional insurance company settlements — to $156 million.

JULY 2016 After the Unsecured Creditors Committee, which represents abuse claimants in the bankruptcy proceedings, filed a motion in May 2016 for the assets of parishes, some Catholic high schools and Catholic organizations to be combined with those of the archdiocese, the bankruptcy court judge rules that their assets did not legally require consolidation. The UCC appealed the decision, twice, and made its case before the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in December 2017.

AUGUST 2016 The UCC files a competing plan for Reorganization.

MARCH 2017 Both plans for Reorganization are sent to creditors including abuse claimants, for a non-binding vote. Most abuse claimants voted for the UCC’s plan. Most other creditors voted for the archdiocese’s plan.

AUGUST 2017 The bankruptcy court judge hears oral arguments on objections to the competing plans for Reorganization.

DECEMBER 2017 The judge denies both plans, and asks the archdiocese, the UCC, parishes and insurers to return to mediation to reach a consensual plan.

APRIL 2018 The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds two lower courts’ rulings that the assets of several Catholic institutions, including parishes, are separate from those of the archdiocese, and that they cannot be consolidated with the archdiocese’s assets in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

MAY 2018 The archdiocese and UCC reach a consensual plan for Reorganization, establishing a trust fund of $210 million from archdiocesan funds, insurance settlements and parish contributions. As part of the plan, an independent trustee will distribute the funds to victims/survivors, and parishes will receive a channeling injunction which ends all litigation against them arising from this matter.

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