ST. PAUL, Minn. – The landmark clergy abuse settlement announced Monday leaves many unanswered questions about the future for victims, church finances and the continuing disclosure of abusive priests in Minnesota.
Catholic officials and victims’ attorneys said the accord was a needed change in the relationship between victims and the church. It’s also a departure from litigation that resulted in dramatic document releases.
The settlement includes child protection and disclosure provisions that two Minnesota dioceses have agreed to follow. Victims’ attorneys want to settle with additional dioceses across the state to encourage transparency, but others question the effectiveness of settling compared with litigation. Critics are also concerned the church won’t follow the protocols in the settlement. Victim payouts could also result in diocesan bankruptcies, which some church officials haven’t ruled out.