A federal judge Thursday said “no” to both competing plans for compensating survivors of priest sex abuse, ordering the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis as well as victims’ representatives back into mediation. Survivor Jim Keenan says many Christians celebrated last week, but that was taken from victims of priest sex abuse. Keenan points to “that feeling of driving by a midnight Mass on the way home from family and you look and all you want to go do is kinda vomit a little bit, because everybody in that church is really being swindled, unless the church changes their ways.”
Church officials respond the judge again “directly dismissed the assertions… that the Archdiocese is acting in bad faith.” They say they “look to engage with all participants in mediation as directed by the judge to bring a prompt and fair resolution.”
Victims’ attorneys say the judge’s ruling is significant because for the first time it orders individual parishes and insurance companies to participate in mediation.
Here’s the complete statement from the archdiocese:
STATEMENT REGARDING DISMISSAL OF REORGANIZATION PLANS
From Tom Abood, Chair, Reorganization Task Force of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Judge Kressel’s decision bolsters our resolve to move forward in the bankruptcy process. We are guided by his words from earlier this year, that the longer this process continues, the less money will be available for those who have been harmed. We note and are gratified that Judge Kressel has once again directly dismissed the assertions by creditors’ counsel that the Archdiocese has acted or is acting in bad faith regarding the reorganization. We look to engage with all participants in mediation as directed by the judge to bring a prompt and fair resolution.