Media Advisory: Diocese of Duluth Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Today

(Duluth, MN) – Today, the Diocese of Duluth filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection. The Diocese of Duluth is the fifteenth Catholic Diocese or Religious Order to file for bankruptcy in the United States. Earlier this year, the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis filed for bankruptcy protection as well. Each of the previous bankruptcies filed by Bishops has ended with a settlement with survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

“We are saddened by the Bishop’s choice to file bankruptcy today instead of releasing the Diocese’s secret documents on child sexual abuse,” said Attorney Mike Finnegan. “Despite the Bishop’s actions today, we will continue to fight for the release of these documents, and survivors of child sexual abuse can still come forward confidentially to hold the Diocese of Duluth accountable.”

Efforts by survivors to unseal the secret documents regarding clergy sexual abuse in the Diocese of Duluth began with the first lawsuit filed in June 2013. Since then, survivors have taken numerous actions to make the files public. The Diocese of Duluth fought these efforts in court. A hearing was scheduled for December 17, 2015, to determine whether some of these secret documents would be released to the public but the bankruptcy filing prevents this hearing from moving forward.

Sexual abuse survivors in Minnesota have until May 25, 2016 to come forward confidentially and bring a claim under the Minnesota Child Victims Act.

At a news conference today in Duluth, attorney Mike Finnegan will discuss today’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by the Diocese of Duluth.

Monday, December 7, 2015, at 3:15 PM (CST)

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