Statement from Tom Abood, Chair of the Reorganization Task Force, Regarding the Bankruptcy Settlement

Watch the full press conference, including statements from Archbishop Bernard Hebda and Tom Abood, Chair of the Reorganization Task Force, on Facebook.

The settlement we announce today is the product of years of work. The bankruptcy process, with its procedures and protections, is very time consuming. Five months ago, Judge Kressel ordered the bankruptcy participants back to mediation. In doing so he noted the passage of time has a negative impact on everyone involved and implored all of us to look beyond what the law might entitle us to do or demand and find compromise.

In that spirit, we developed a mediation process with the representatives of the abuse survivors that was designed for transparency among the parties. We wanted to build on the results of prior mediation efforts. Because of the complexity of the insurance matters and numerous carriers and involved parties, we needed over 18 full days of in-person mediation over these past five months to get to a position where final arrangements could be directly negotiated.

The result is a plan that provides for a settlement fund of $210 million dollars, representing over $50 million in additional proceeds compared to our previous plan’s settlement fund. Sources include increased contributions from insurance carriers, increased contributions from parishes and increased contributions from the Archdiocese itself. The settlement fund will be available for distribution upon confirmation of the plan by Judge Kressel and will provide for an independent trustee to administer and distribute the fund among the claimants. The plan will provide for formal termination of all litigation involving the Archdiocese and parishes and related entities.

In the coming days, we will work closely with counsel to the survivors and counsel to parishes to turn this agreement in to definitive documents for consideration by Judge Kressel, and we will do everything in our power to expedite bringing the matter to a formal conclusion as soon as possible.

Let me finish by saying I share the Archbishop’s gratitude and admiration for the many who devoted themselves to this matter. One person I would add to his list is the Archbishop himself. He determined our course, immersed himself in the detail and kept us focused on seeking resolution of this matter in a fair and just way. Archbishop Hebda never lost sight of the objective of taking another step in the healing process for survivors and the Church. He is a true blessing to our community, and we are so glad Pope Francis has him serving here instead of New Jersey.

Thank you.