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Bankruptcy court approves reorganization plan for Diocese of Winona-Rochester

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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (WXOW) - A federal bankruptcy court in Minnesota has accepted a reorganization plan that would compensate sexual abuse survivors in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester. 

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota signed off on the plan on Thursday after it was submitted by the diocese and the Committee of Unsecured Creditors, who represent the 145 abuse survivors. 

The diocese and committee reached a settlement in February for $21.5 million.  

Terms of the plan confirmed Thursday by the court call for the creation of a trust fund totaling just over $22,000,000 to compensate the survivors. It covers Diocesan assets, including the disposition of specific Diocesan assets and insurance coverage settlements of $6.5 million. 

“I welcome today’s announcement. I want to express my sincere apology to all those who have been affected by sexual abuse in our Diocese,” Bishop John M. Quinn said in the statement from the diocese announcing the reorganization plan. “My prayers go out to all survivors of abuse and I pledge my continuing commitment to ensure that this terrible chapter in the history of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester never happens again.”

The diocese filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2018. Since then, the diocese said it's been working toward a resolution of claims against the diocese and non-diocesan Catholic entities within the diocese. 

The statement from the diocese said the plan also includes the "implementation of ehnanced non-monetary protocols for the protection of children which were first implemented by the diocese in 2002. 

Since that time, the diocese said it has conducted more than 44,000 backgound checks. Some 16,000 clergy, teachers, staff, and volunteers have undergone training on the protection of children. 

MORE: Diocese of Winona-Rochester Settlement Information