Skip to content

Catholic Charities in Minnesota sues diocese facing bankruptcy

By Kevin Jones (CNA/EWTN)
7/12/2018 (6 days ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

The fate of a children's home is the subject of a lawsuit against the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minn., by the diocese's Catholic Charities affiliate, which fears the diocese's planned bankruptcy could disrupt services at the facility.

Highlights

By Kevin Jones (CNA/EWTN)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
7/12/2018 (6 days ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Minnesota, Catholic Charities, sues near-bankrupt diocese


St. Cloud, Minn., (CNA/EWTN News) - "We continue to support the mission of Catholic Charities, and we know they continue to support the mission and ministries of the diocese," Joseph Towalski, director of the Office of Communications at the Diocese of St. Cloud, told CNA July 11. "We believe the complaint will be properly resolved through the judicial process." 
Towalski said the complaint is under review by legal counsel and the diocese would not comment on it at this time. 

After 74 claims related to clergy sex abuse were made, the diocese made a Feb. 28 announcement that it would seek bankruptcy protection, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. 
The complaint concerns ownership of St. Cloud Children's Home and surrounding properties. The children's home facilities include several cottages, classrooms, a chapel, an administrative building, a heating plant and grounds improvements including sidewalks, fences and paved parking. 
Catholic Charities' complaint asks the diocese to transfer ownership of the facility and surrounding area to the charity. 
"This is an unusual position we find ourselves in," Steve Pareja, the Catholic Charities affiliate's executive director, said July 2. 
"While we work closely with the diocese, we are in fact a separately governed andseparately run organization. Our separateness comes with obligations '" legally and morally '" to protect the financial health and sustainability of Catholic Charities and to be responsible stewards of the assets our donors have entrusted to us." 
The lawsuit filing reflected those responsibilities, according to Pareja. 
Beginning in 2014, diocesan officers had committed to transfer to Catholic Charities the St. Cloud Children's Home and surrounding property. Relying on that commitment, Catholic Charities said, it had incurred "significant debt" to build a new 16-unit residential treatment facility, debt secured by assets which could be used for other purposes. 
Pareja said the issue had been under "active discussion" for almost four years and the diocese's bankruptcy announcement gave new urgency to resolving the situation. 
"If this issue is to be settled, it is on us to move a resolution forward and to do sowith the assistance of the court," he said. 
Catholic Charities stopped providing residential treatment services at the facility in May 2017. However, it provides youth behavior health services in day-treatment programs at the location. It aims to continue these services amid the diocese's bankruptcy filing. 
The Catholic Charities affiliate describes itself as "a nonprofit organization that advances the charitable and social mission of the Diocese of St. Cloud." The diocesan chancellor, Jane Marrin, is listed on its website as a 2018 board member. 
The charity's executive director addressed relations with the diocese and the context of the lawsuit amid other legal claims on the diocese. 
"This is not an attack on the diocese or a break in our support for its mission," Pareja said. "We think the diocese is as interested in resolving this matter as we are, but its ability to act is constrained by the pending Chapter 11 filing." 
Pareja explicitly rejected any characterization of the lawsuit as a legal tactic to shelter diocesan or Church-related assets in anticipation of bankruptcy hearings. 
"(W)e are moving independently and in good faith to carry out our fiduciary duties to Catholic Charities and our supporters," he said. "I want to emphasize this last point in the strongest possible terms: We support the victims of sexual abuse and their efforts to seek justice. We also support the diocese in its efforts to find a way forward that cares for these victims and allows it to continue its ministry to our communities." 
Catholic Charities of St. Cloud serves 54,000 people across 16 counties with services including housing, mental health services and assistance for children and families. CNA contacted the charity but did not receive additional comment by deadline. 
St. Cloud was the fourth diocese in Minnesota to declare bankruptcy after the passage of the Minnesota Child Victims Act in 2013, which lifted the civil statute of limitations for child abuse allegations until May 2016. The act gave alleged victims three years in which to file claims for abuse alleged to have occurred decades ago.
 During the three-year window, more than six hundred claims were filed against Catholic dioceses in Minnesota.

Your Prayer Requests 'LIVE'

---


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'


Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2018
Priests and their Pastoral Ministry.
That priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.


Comments


More U.S.

Catholic Charities in Minnesota sues diocese facing bankruptcy Watch

Image of

The fate of a children's home is the subject of a lawsuit against the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minn., by the diocese's Catholic Charities ... continue reading


Judge Kavanaugh Will Help the Church in the Battle for Religious Freedom Watch

Image of

President Trump's nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court could not have come at a better time for the Church in America. ... continue reading


Honoring St Benedict: We Need Courageous Christian Monks for the Third Millennium Watch

Image of I spent 21 months in a Benedictine monastery shortly after coming home to the Church as a young man. There, I began what has become a lifelong journey of prayer and found my hunger for theology. I also studied the early fathers of the Church. I was taught by a wonderful monk. He was the first of several monks who have graced my life with their gift of holy presence, making Christ so palpable by their interior life - one which overflows in a genuine transfigured humanity.

St. Benedict of Nursia lived a life of prayer and solitude for three years and studied under a monk named Romanus. His holiness drew ... continue reading


Fr. Pavone of Priests for Life: Judge Brett Kavanaugh Watch

Image of

"As the nation begins to take a closer look at the nominee that President Trump has chosen for the Supreme Court, it becomes more and more ... continue reading


Could SCOTUS nominee Kavanaugh end abortion? Watch

Image of President Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

President Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Millions of pro-life advocates are waiting to see if he will be the ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.