Statement by Bishop John M. LeVoir announcing settlement plan
“The Diocese of New Ulm has reached a settlement with victims and survivors of Clergy sexual abuse. The $34 million settlement reached today represents years of respectful negotiations with those representing victims and survivors in order to come to a fair resolution of claims while continuing essential church ministry. believe the settlement agreement we reached was a fair one.
“I am deeply grateful for victims and survivors who courageously came forward to raise awareness about clergy sexual abuse and to work to assure others will not have to suffer the wounds they sustained and the pained they endured. Victims and survivors and owed just compensation for the harm they have suffered by those they entrusted in serving them.
“Their coming forward to share their stories and seek justice from the church that failed them took great courage. I again apologize to them on behalf of the church. I hope the settlement agreement we reached together helps victims and survivors on their healing journey.
“I want to thank local Catholics for your ongoing prayers for a just resolution for victims and survivors of clergy sexual abuse. Your prayers have helped us in this process and I believe they will help those harmed as they continued to seek healing. I am so very grateful for the dedication of local Catholics for ensuring a safe environment in church ministry. This includes your support of safe environment measures we have had in place for the last 15 years for all clergy, diocesan, parish and Catholic school employees and church volunteers who interact with children and young people.
“The settlement is funded through insurance coverage, cash and property contribution from the diocese and contribution from all parishes within the diocese. Cash and property contribution toward the settlement is only possible because of the generosity of local Catholics. I am grateful to those parishes that contributed even though they were not facing claims themselves. Parish leaders did this because they recognized reaching a fair settlement for those harmed was important and necessary.
“I am also thankful for the wisdom of Judge Kressel, the diligence of Judge Zive and hard work of those all those who dedicated themselves over the past two years to ensure a fair resolution. Please continue to pray for hope, healing, and peace as we take the final steps to bring closure to this process. And please pray there will be no more sexual abuse.”
More information was posted on the diocese website ( www.dnu.org ) including disclosure statement and plan.