Survivors vote in Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis bankruptcy case

FILE: Cathedral of St. Paul

The sexual abuse survivors have voted for a plan in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis bankruptcy case.

In December 2016, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge decided the survivors would vote on the two proposed reorganization plans.

The Archdiocese submitted one plan and the Creditors' Committee submitted the other. Last May, the Archdiocese filed its plan, which called for a total of $155 million in payments to abuse survivors and other creditors - with $65 million coming from the Archdiocese and the rest from insurance.

Attorneys representing the survivors believed the Archdiocese was attempting to conceal its assets. The survivors and the Creditors' Committee submitted their plan, which states the Archdiocese would provide $80 million and more to be received from insurance in payments to survivors.

The Creditors' Committee plan received 94 percent of the votes and 93 percent of the survivors also voted to reject the Archdiocese's plan.

There were 447 total people who were eligible to vote, 406 voted.

“We applaud all the courageous survivors who have come forward to speak their truth. Your voices have been heard,” said Attorney Jeff Anderson. 

This vote is the first of its kind. Never before have there been two competing plans voted on in a Diocesan or Religious Order bankruptcy.

The Archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in January of 2015 amid allegations of clergy sexual abuse.

The court will take this vote into account in determining which plan to go forward with.

Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda statement

"I am grateful to all those who took part in the balloting process and thereby helped us to move closer to a resolution of our ongoing bankruptcy litigation. It is my understanding that the balloting was intended to inform the Bankruptcy Court as to how many creditors consent to confirmation of the proposed Plans. Given that the outcome of the balloting does not necessarily dictate any one particular result, we will continue to look to the Court for guidance as we proceed. I believe the Archdiocese’s Plan of Reorganization – which stands at more than $155 million – provides a fair and just resolution to the bankruptcy. Under our Plan, $155 million will be available to claimants whenever our Plan would be confirmed, without the need for any additional litigation or uncertainty. I continue to believe that timely resolution to this bankruptcy benefits those who have made claims against the Archdiocese. Conversely, it pains me that the longer this case plays out in court, the greater will be the attorneys’ fees and costs incurred, diminishing settlement funds that would otherwise be available to those who have been harmed.

I would appreciate your prayers as we continue working with the court and legal counsel for claimants to conclude these proceedings as quickly as possible.