DULUTH, MN — On Monday, a federal judge approved a near $40-million dollar settlement between survivors of clergy sexual abuse and the Diocese of Duluth.
The money will be dispersed to more than 100 victims.
“We know that no amount of money can heal their suffering,” Diocese of Duluth Bishop Paul Sirba says. “We believe that only Jesus brings that kind of healing, but for us, the compensation can be a sign for our repentance and accountability and our solidarity.”
Dozens of those victims were in the courtroom Monday, represented by Saint Paul attorney Jeff Anderson, whose firm has been working with claims surrounding the Diocese of Duluth for more than two decades.
“Each survivor has done something to make this community safer, to make this community cleaner, to make this diocese reckon, and to know and take some comfort in the fact that other kids will be protected,” Anderson says.
Although he was not accused in the case, Sirba extended an apology to the victims in attendance, stating that the acts of abuse were “terrible crimes.”
“They deserve and have always deserved our particular love and support,” Sirba says. “Their courage and insistence on speaking out that will hopefully help them on their journey of healing will also help us to be accountable and to do the right things that we have not managed to do on our own.”