A federal judge has approved 210-million-dollar settlement between the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and victims of priest sex abuse, who overwhelmingly voted for the agreement last week. Archbishop Bernard Hebda said, “How sorry we are for what transpired and how we recognize that that’s had such a devastating effect, not only on the lives of those who were hurt, but also on their families and on their loved ones, and indeed on many others in the church who have lost trust.” Survivors’ attorney Mike Finnegan says, “We and these courageous survivors have done everything in our power and everything within this agreement that we can possibly do to protect kids better, now and in the future.”
Meanwhile Governor Mark Dayton wants a meeting with several county attorneys to determine whether they’ll call grand juries to investigate allegations that church officials covered-up priest sex abuse. Finnegan says, “The more on each diocese and each abuse situation like this, the more light that we can put on it and the less that there are secrets, the better kids will be protected.” Leaders of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis said earlier “there has been disclosure… at every stage of the bankruptcy process” and they’re disappointed it’s being criticized as a means of concealing the truth.
Excerpt of Archbishop Hebda’s comments after the court hearing: