Q: What is happening with the diocese’s bankruptcy reorganization case?
A: On March 10, 2020, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Kressel gave final approval to the $34 million settlement between the Diocese of New Ulm, parishes within it, and 93 claimants who filed sexual abuse claims against the diocese and parishes. Claimants voted unanimously to approve the settlement. This clears the way for survivors of sexual abuse to begin to receive compensation under the settlement and marks the end of a three-year bankruptcy process for the Diocese of New Ulm.
Q: When will claimants receive compensation and how much will they receive?
A: A trustee and claims reviewer, working independently from the diocese, will determine the amount of compensation each survivor will receive and plan for distribution of funds to claimants as soon as possible.
Q: Where did funds for the settlement come from?
A: Insurance coverage, sale of diocesan property, other assets of the diocese, and contributions from all parishes within the geographic area the diocese serves, including those that don’t have clergy sexual abuse claims made against them.
- $26 million comes from insurance coverage.
- $7 million comes from cash contributions from the diocese. This includes cash from a $2 million mortgage on the Pastoral Center.
- $1 million is the combined contribution from all parishes in the diocese. Of the $1 million contributed by all the parishes combined, two parishes that were sued for clergy sexual abuse agreed to contribute approximately $210,000 toward the settlement. The remaining 22 parishes that were sued agreed to pay a total of $350,000 toward the settlement, with each parish contributing between $10,000 and $35,000 apiece. The parishes that were not sued each agreed to contribute $10,000 toward the settlement to help survivors on their healing journey.
The confirmed plan of reorganization is posted on the Documents page. This confirmed plan of reorganization contains additional settlement funding source information.
Q: What are the child protection protocols agreed to under the confirmed plan?
A: The diocese has committed to 17 child protection protocols, designed to help protect children and young people from abuse and prevent sexual misconduct in ministry. The Diocese of New Ulm has already enacted many of these protocols, and diocesan and parish leaders continue to be committed to fulfilling each of them now and into the future. See the Protocols page for the full listing of protocols. For more information about safe environment requirements, see the Promise to Protect page.
Q. Has the Diocese issued a public apology to victims and survivors?
A. Yes. On behalf of the Diocese of New Ulm, Bishop John LeVoir has apologized publicly to survivors and continues to do so both publicly and privately.
Bishop LeVoir stated on March 10, 2020, “I apologize for the harm they endured, knowing that today’s settlement cannot make amends for all that was taken from them. For this, I am and always will be truly very sorry.”
Q. If someone was sexually abused as a child and has not yet come forward what should he or she do?
A. Anyone who has suffered sexual abuse or exploitation by a priest or anyone else involved in Church ministry in the Diocese of New Ulm should immediately report such misconduct to local law enforcement, regardless of when the misconduct occurred.
County law enforcement and social service agencies (Updated 2015)
Contact information for reporting misconduct in each of the fifteen counties of the Diocese of New Ulm.
Victims and survivors of sexual abuse in Church ministry are also encouraged to contact the diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator at 1421 6th Street North, New Ulm, MN 56073, or via phone at 507-233-5313, for counseling or other assistance in healing.
Q. What if I have additional questions?
A. Please visit https://protectandheal-dnu.org/ for more information. You can also call the diocesan Office of
Communications at (507) 233-5332.