ST. COUD -- The Diocese of St. Cloud has announced they have reached an agreement on a framework for a resolution with the survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

The resolution will include the diocese filing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the near future.

The framework for resolution will include a plan for reorganization that will provide for a $22.5 million trust to compensate the survivors. The funds will come from insurance coverage settlements and cash and property contributions.

Some 70 victims say they were abused by 41 priests in cases that date back to the 1950s. Attorney Jeff Anderson negotiated the settlement agreement and said it
gives validation to the victims, some of whom Anderson first represented in
lawsuits filed in the 1980s.

St. Cloud Bishop Donald Kettler said in a statement that he apologized on ``behalf of the Church for the harm`` that victims suffered. Kettler says he hopes the settlement will help heal the victims.

All priests and deacons, staff, parish and Catholic school employees, as well as volunteers who have regular unsupervised interaction with minors, are required to meet safety requirements. These requirements include undergoing a criminal background check, and participation in sexual abuse awareness and prevention training.

The diocese continues to encourage anyone who has suffered sexual abuse to report such abuse to local law enforcement, regardless of when it occurred. Survivors of clergy sexual abuse are also encouraged to contact the diocese’s victim assistance coordinator, Roxann Storms, at (320) 248-1563.

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