Getting the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, its individual parishes and 444 sexual abuse survivors — unsecured creditors — through a bankruptcy organization appears to be mind-bogglingly complicated. It was.
But the attorneys for the archdiocese, the parish committee and the unsecured creditors committee made it happen in a way that allowed the court and nearly all survivors to approve a $210 million reorganization plan. That plan provided fair compensation to the survivors and allowed the church to retain sufficient assets to carry out its mission in the Twin Cities and develop and implement state-of-the-art child-protection protocols. It’s an ongoing effort.“We’re in as good a place as we can be,” said archdiocese attorney Charlie Rogers at Briggs and Morgan. “No one is saying mission accomplished.”
The plan to compensate survivors of clergy sexual abuse includes over $150 million from 13 insurers and another $23 million contributed from the parishes. More than 40 insurance policies dating back to the late 1940s were involved. Margo Brownell of Maslon was special insurance counsel to the parish committee. Each parish is a separate corporation, so the logistics were daunting. But the parishes all had the same goal — they wanted the archdiocese to continue operating and move ahead, she said.
“There is not an amount of money that will compensate the survivors, but under these circumstances the committee did a great job,” said Robert Kugler of Stinson Leonard Street, who represented the unsecured creditors.