Archdiocese seeks 'fair and just' resolution to bankruptcy proceedings

- Attorneys for clergy abuse victims are touting an alternative restructuring plan to the one offered by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis during its bankruptcy proceedings.

The Archdiocese filed its bankruptcy reorganization plan in May, calling for a total of $65 million in payments to abuse survivors and other creditors.  The alternative plan would provide at $80 million in payments to survivors.

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“The plan that they proposed of paying the survivors $16 million is deceptive and misleading and a betrayal of a pledge to transparency,” said Jeff Anderson, an attorney for the abuse victims. “This provides for transparency and a fair measure of accountability.”

The plan from the Committee of Unsecured Creditors also calls for a release of all documents related to the investigation of former Archbishop John Nienstedt to be made public, including documents from the Vatican. 

“They funded that investigation. They can’t now hide it because they don’t like it,” Anderson said. “No more secrets, no more concealment.”

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The Archdiocese originally filed for bankruptcy in January 2015. It has previously said it has disclosed all of its assets.

"The judge has asked all parties to negotiate in good faith, and that is what we are endeavoring to do,” Archbishop Bernard Hebda said in a statement to Fox 9 Tuesday. “Our consistent goal remains the same: a fair and just resolution for all."

The judge in the case will now consider the committee’s plan in addition to the Archdiocese’s plan at a hearing in December. The judge can pick one plan or the other or blend the two plans. It will likely be sometime next year at the earliest before a decision is made.

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