Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) -The Diocese of Winona-Rochester has made it official.

The Catholic Church organization that includes churches and schools in southern Minnesota published information Tuesday on its website indicating it will make a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

The announcement included comments from Bishop John Quinn, who oversees the diocese. The announcement said “Quinn believes this is the most just and equitable way to hold the Diocese accountable for past child sexual abuse by clergy. The bankruptcy filing is made in cooperation with legal counsel representing the survivors and is planned to happen later this month.”

According to the announcement, the diocese is facing 121 claims of child sexual abuse by clergy that have resulted from claims filed under the Minnesota Child Victims Act. The claims are based on abuse that occurred between 1960 and 1986. The accused clergy are either deceased or have been removed from ministry, laicized, and no longer function in any priestly capacity in the Diocese.

“I believe this action will create an environment of healing for both survivors and our entire diocesan community,” said John M. Quinn, Bishop of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester. “Healing and justice for the survivors is our number one priority and I recognize this is a much-needed step as we create a path forward to reconciliation,” explained Quinn.

The diocese says no staff members will lose their jobs and no parishes or schools will close during this bankruptcy process. The parishes and schools within the Diocese are separate legal corporations and are not filing for bankruptcy.

The diocese says it doesn’t know how long bankruptcy will take but will share periodic updates throughout the process.

More information on the reorganization can be found here.

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