WINONA, Minn. (AP) _ The Diocese of Winona-Rochester plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection following allegations of child sexual abuse against former priests.

The southern Minnesota diocese distributed a letter from Bishop John Quinn to parishioners over the weekend. A public announcement is planned Tuesday.

A spokesman for the diocese told the Winona Daily News that Quinn believes
``This is the best path forward to bring healing and justice to survivors of past child sexual abuse by clergy in our Diocese.''

The spokesman says the bankruptcy will not affect day-to-day operations of the diocese, parishes and schools.

The diocese will be the fourth in Minnesota to file for bankruptcy. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is emerging from bankruptcy. The dioceses of Duluth and New Ulm also have filed for bankruptcy amid abuse claims. The St. Cloud diocese announced its intention to file in February but hasn't done so.

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