Catholic Diocese of St. Cloud sets Deadline for Compensation Program
A Minnesota diocese that is currently going through Chapter 11 Bankruptcy has set a deadline of October 21, 2020, for survivors of sexual abuse to come forward and file a claim. We call on Catholic officials to share this information widely, advertise the time limit in local newspapers, and make every effort to ensure survivors throughout the state are aware of this deadline.
The compensation claim window for the Diocese of St. Cloud is a short three months. In order to ensure that survivors who were abused by clergy, brothers, nuns, or other church staff within the diocese know that they must come forward now, every effort needs to be taken to advertise this program. Too often these deadlines are quietly announced and quickly closed without adequate notice being given. We call on diocesan officials in St. Cloud to ensure that this does not happen in this case.
This already-short window for survivors to learn about the program and make a decision on participation is made all the worse now that the Coronavirus is rewriting daily routines and lives. We believe that the right thing to do in this case is for Catholic officials in St. Cloud to not only announce this deadline in every possible venue, but also to extend the deadline for participation in the program for another six months.
This situation is yet another reminder that the best way for victims to receive justice and recognition is through secular society, not church-run programs. We hope that survivors, advocates, and all Minnesotans who care about equity and healing will write to their state legislators and encourage them to once again take up legislation that will open a civil window and eliminate civil and criminal statutes of limitations for cases of sexual violence.
(Survivors who wish to take advantage of this compensation program can find the announcement here and the information on how to to file a claim here. For more information on compensation programs, check out this blog post from SNAP President Tim Lennon.)
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)