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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 23, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 04
Minneapolis Catholic Archdiocese files bankruptcy; seeks to evade molestation lawsuits
Section One
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Minneapolis Catholic Archdiocese files bankruptcy; seeks to evade molestation lawsuits

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on January 17. The move freezes more than 20 lawsuits against the archdiocese, all of them arising from allegations of sexual misconduct by priests. An additional 100 suits are reportedly pending.

The Minneapolis Archdiocese in now the twelfth in the country to seek protection from such lawsuits.

The bankruptcy filing didn't provide precise financial figures, but showed estimated liabilities of $50 million to $100 million, estimated assets of $10 million to $50 million, and estimated creditors of 200 to 999.

'Reorganization will allow the finite resources of the archdiocese to be distributed equitably among all victims/survivors,' said Archbishop John Nienstedt.

'It will also permit the archdiocese to provide essential services required to continue its mission.'

The bankruptcy filing will allow the archdiocese to continue its daily operations while giving it time to reorganize its finances as a judge determines how much victims may be entitled to receive.

Last summer Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt was forced to submit to questions about his sexual orientation by local reporters after he was accused of 'sexual impropriety' with priests, seminarians, and other men. The archbishop denied that he is Gay.

In January 2012, during a statewide referendum on same-sex marriage, Nienstedt ordered all priests under his jurisdiction not to speak if they opposed laws against Gay and Lesbian marriages. Later that year, an anti-Gay public letter by Nienstedt prompted a blistering response from Minnesota Vikings player Chris Kluwe.

In September 2012, Nienstedt was accused of shielding a pedophile priest who is now in prison. That same month he declared that 'Satan loves sodomy.'

In 2010 Nienstedt ordered that Gay students not be admitted to Holy Communion. Also in 2010, Nienstedt's archdiocese sent out 400,000 DVDs to Minnesota voters urging that they support anti-Gay gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer.

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