Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am writing because a number of parishes in the Diocese of New Ulm, including your parish, have recently been sued under the Minnesota Child Victims Act. As you may know, the Minnesota Child Victims Act removed for three years the civil statute of limitations for historical cases of child sexual abuse. The deadline to file a claim is May 25, 2016.
Most of these lawsuits arise out of misconduct that allegedly occurred many years ago – they are not allegations of recent abuse. No one currently in ministry at your parish has accusations of abuse reported against him.
We do not expect that these lawsuits will affect parish or Catholic school operations.
Attorneys have been selected to represent parishes in these lawsuits. These attorneys will work hard for a fair resolution of the lawsuits while allowing the work of the Church to continue. Among the first things attorneys will do is begin a search for any insurance coverage that could go toward resolution of the lawsuits.
Be assured that your pastor and parish leaders are working with diocesan staff to keep you informed and updated on any developments. More information is also available at www.dnu.org.
We continue to encourage any victims and survivors who have not yet come forward to do so before the May 25 deadline.
I ask that you join me in continuing to pray for a just resolution to these claims. We must rely on the Lord as we work to bring healing, reconciliation, and hope to victims and survivors of clergy sexual abuse, and their families and friends. We all need the peace offered by our Merciful Father as we work toward healing in our parish communities.
The Most Reverend John M. LeVoir
Bishop of New Ulm