$34 million settlement approved in Diocese of New Ulm bankruptcy case
A settlement between the Diocese of New Ulm and sexual abuse survivors has been approved.
The $34 million settlement deal was presented in a Brown County courtroom Tuesday afternoon.
The diocese filed for bankruptcy after 93 people claimed they were sexually abused by priests and others in the church.
"I just want to express our gratitude to courageous survivors that stood up and and shared their secrets and their sorrows and found their voice and then required this diocese, the entire Diocese of New Ulm and all the top officials to account. And not just to account, but to change" said attorney Jeff Anderson, from Jeff Anderson and Associates.
Along with the financial payout, the diocese has agreed to implement new child protection protocols.
"We must never forget these sins of the past" Diocese of New Ulm Bishop John LeVoir said. "The Diocese of New Ulm and the Catholic church must do everything possible to protect the vulnerable so that this tragedy never happens again."
According to a statement from the bishop, funds for the settlement come from $26 million in diocesan and parish insurance coverage, $7 million in cash contributions from the diocese and a total of $1 million contributed by all parishes within the diocese, including parishes with no claims against them.
Another important part of the settlement is the names of priests who have been credibly accused of abusing children are now public.
"This isn't the end of this case" said Anderson. "The work that has to be done will continue in forcing transparency, disclosure, accountability and done so with kind of a rigor and now the power that was given to the survivors through this settlement to enforce the pledges and the promises made by the Catholic bishop here and the Catholic Diocese of New Ulm."