DULUTH, Minnesota — A federal judge has approved a $40 million settlement between the Diocese of Duluth and dozens of people who say they were abused as children by priests.
Judge Robert Kressel signed off on the settlement Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The diocese filed for bankruptcy in 2015 and reached the settlement in May.
The agreement also calls for the diocese to open its files on more than three dozen priests who were credibly accused of abuse and develop procedures to ensure children will be protected.
“Our first thoughts today are with the innocent people who suffered abuse,” said Bishop Paul Sirba.
“While no financial settlement can make up for the harm that was done to them, it can be a form of accountability for the ways the church failed them, and a sign of our solidarity with them and our deep sorrow for what they have suffered,” he added.
Attorney Jeff Anderson, who represented 120 claimants, says the settlement “can and does make this community safer and better.”
The northeastern Minnesota diocese has more than 56,000 members in 92 parishes.
Crux staff contributed to this report.
Crux is dedicated to smart, wired and independent reporting on the Vatican and worldwide Catholic Church. That kind of reporting doesn’t come cheap, and we need your support. You can help Crux by giving a small amount monthly, or with a onetime gift. Please remember, Crux is a for-profit organization, so contributions are not tax-deductible.