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Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis reaches $210 million sex abuse deal

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has reached a $210 million settlement in its bankruptcy case with 450 people alleging clergy sex abuse.

Victims’ attorney Jeff Anderson said the settlement was reached with the survivors and the archdiocese and includes accountability measures. The money, a total of $210,290,724, will go into a pot to pay survivors, with the amount for each survivor to be determined.

Anderson said a formal reorganization plan will now be submitted to the judge, who is expected to approve, and then it will be sent to the survivors for a vote. Anderson expected they will readily approve it.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda said he was grateful to victims who came forward.

"I recognize that the abuse stole so much from you, your childhood, your innocence, your safety, your ability to trust, and in many cases, your faith," he said, adding that he hopes the settlement brings closure to those who were harmed. "We've been working with them very carefully to try to formulate this in a way that benefits them to the maximum."

According to the website, which tracks clergy sex abuse cases, this is the largest payout among the Roman Catholic archdiocese and dioceses that have filed for bankruptcy protection. But the largest payout of any kind came in 2007, when the Archdiocese of Los Angeles settled clergy sex abuse cases with 508 victims for $660 million.

Thomas Abood, chairman of the Archdiocesan Finance Council and Reorganization Task Force, said the settlement will be outlined in greater detail when it is filed in court. But he said most of the funding, roughly $170 million, will come from insurance carriers. The rest will come from parishes, the archdiocese, a pension fund and real estate sales.

"We will do everything we can to expedite it," Abood said, adding that he hopes the process can be completed in the next few months. "We have gone everywhere we could to raise money for this settlement."

The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in 2015, two years after the Minnesota Legislature opened a three-year window that allowed people who had been sexually abused in the past to sue for damages. That resulted in hundreds of claims being filed against the archdiocese.

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