The following is taken from the website of the Diocese of Wilmington: http://www.cdow.org/cgi-bin/news/news.cgi?p_id=0417&ppinc=detail
Diocese of Wilmington reaches bankruptcy settlement
February 3, 2011 --- (Wilmington, DE) --- The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Inc. has reached a settlement of $77.4 million through mediation of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it was announced last night. The settlement agreement was reached between the Diocese and its insurance carriers, the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, clerical sex abuse claimants, and other claimants. This settlement ends all sexual abuse claims against the diocese and parishes pending in State court, and must be approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the State of Delaware.
“Since the beginning of the bankruptcy, our goals have been to fairly compensate all survivors of clergy sexual abuse, to honor our obligations to our creditors and lay employees to the best of our ability and to continue the charitable, educational and spiritual works of the Catholic community in Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore,” the Most. Rev. W. Francis Malooly, Bishop of the Diocese of Wilmington said. “We feel that these goals have been reached by this settlement. While this settlement will have a great impact on the diocesan organization; it protects our parishes where the majority of our educational, charitable and spiritual ministry is done.”
According to the settlement, funds from the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Inc., and contributions from non-debtor Catholic entities including the Catholic Diocese Foundation, Catholic Cemeteries, Siena Hall, Seton Villa, Children’s Home, insurance carriers and the parishes themselves, will be placed in a trust to pay survivors of clergy sexual abuse and other creditors.
In addition to the monetary settlement, the Diocese has also agreed to a number of non-monetary terms of settlement including:
- The Bishop will continue to meet with any sexual abuse survivor who wishes to meet with him. He will also send a letter of apology to survivors and their families.
- The Diocese will provide to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors for public disclosure all non-privileged documents in its files related to sexual abuse by, and/or supervision of, abusive clergy, religious, or lay employees.
- The Diocese will continue to review and enforce policies related to its For the Sake of God’s Children program that provides a safe environment in its schools and religious education program and screening of volunteers and employees.
- The Diocese will continue its zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual abuse.
- The Diocese will display a plaque in each of its institutions that states that sexual abuse of any kind will not be tolerated.
- The Diocese will continue the current policy of terminating confidentiality agreements that survivors may have signed as part of past legal settlements.
- The Diocese will continue to annually post on its web site the results of the annual audit by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops of the Diocese’s compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People