Court approves $210M payout to Twin Cities clergy sex abuse victims

Archbishop Bernard Hebda issued an apology to victims on Tuesday.
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Victims of historic sexual abuse at the hands of Twin Cities clergy will receive a share in a $210 million payout.

The payment was confirmed by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel on Tuesday, after it had been proposed under a reorganization plan for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

MPR reports that the estimated 450 abuse victims who filed a claim for compensation against the archdiocese should share about two-thirds of the total, after legal fees for attorneys are deducted.

A statement read out in court by Archbishop Bernard Hebda on Tuesday, and since sent out to media including BMTN, saw him apologize to victims for the "horrific" experiences they've had to endure.

"First, I need to once again say that I am truly sorry. I know that those words – as well as my promise of prayers – might ring hollow for many and will never be enough.

"Still, I am so very sorry for the horrific things done to you by people you should have been able to trust – and as a bishop, as a priest, as a Catholic, and as a human being – my heart aches when I think about the resulting harm to you, your families and so many others."

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He goes on to say he hopes the settlement helps "bring some measure of justice" to them, "though I know that no amount of money will make up for the horrors you experienced and for the far-too-frequent failures by priests and bishops.'

Their courage in coming forward about their past experiences will prove a "catalyst for change," Hebda adds, saying: "The changes you insisted upon are keeping kids safer right now."

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