New York Times
May 31, 2018
By Jacey Fortin
In one of the biggest settlements of its kind, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis plans to establish a $210 million trust fund for hundreds of victims of clergy sexual abuse, the archbishop announced on Thursday.
The plan is the result of a yearslong battle and arduous negotiations in one of the country’s most high-profile cases involving abuse in the Roman Catholic Church.
If approved, the settlement will be the largest ever for a sex abuse case involving an archdiocese that has filed for bankruptcy protection and the second largest over all, said Terry McKiernan, co-director and president of BishopAccountability.org, which tracks clergy sex abuse cases. (According to the website, the largest settlement, $660 million, was reached by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and 508 survivors in 2007.)
“Survivors are getting, on average, substantial settlements for what they suffered, and that’s really important,” Mr. McKiernan said of the Minnesota case.
The settlement is pending approval from a judge and 450 survivors. Their lawyer, Jeff Anderson, said he expected them to vote in its favor.
He said the case could be a model for other clergy sex abuse cases because it forced the church to be more transparent than usual. “That heat and that light has been put on them through the courage of the many, many survivors who found their voice and took action,” he added.
Jim Keenan, one of the abuse survivors, told reporters on Thursday that others should not be afraid to speak up.