Statement of the Diocese of Crookston re: Settlement of Lawsuits
CROOKSTON, MINNESOTA, July 17, 2019 – The Diocese of Crookston and victims and survivors of clergy sexual abuse have reached a $5,000,000.00 settlement agreement. The Diocese is thankful mediation has concluded. Although victims can never be fully compensated for their suffering, it is hopeful these settlements offer healing and justice.
15 lawsuits for sexual abuse claims were filed between April 2016 and May 2017 as a result of the Minnesota Child Victims Act. The legislation lifted the statute of limitations on abuse cases in Minnesota, opening a three-year window that allowed victims an opportunity to file civil claims.
Most of the costs associated with the settlement came through insurance proceeds. The Diocese of Crookston paid $1,550,000.00; most of this amount was from the property sales of Camp Corbett (Big Elbow Lake, Becker County, MN) in 2018 and Holy Spirit Newman Center (Bemidji, MN) in 2016, as well as two non-restricted estate gifts in 2017. Also, in preparation for settlement, two open staff positions were left unfilled. In meeting the settlement, the Diocese did not have to finance any portion through loans.
Because of the settlement, the Diocese of Crookston has been able to avoid bankruptcy protection. All other dioceses in Minnesota have filed or announced their intent to file for financial reorganization in recent years. The Diocese will not experience lay-offs and can steadfastly continue its mission of serving God’s people in the 14 Northwest counties of Minnesota.
The Diocese of Crookston is committed to transparency and accountability in response to the clerical sexual abuse crisis and takes seriously accusations of sexual misconduct by clergy. If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual misconduct on the part of a priest, deacon, or individual representing the Diocese of Crookston, its parishes, or its schools, please contact the diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator at 218-281-7895.
Janelle Gergen, Director of Communications
Download statement HERE.