Judge: Twin Cities parishes not required to play sex abuse video

A federal bankruptcy judge on Thursday rejected efforts to have a video about clergy sex abuse played in parishes throughout the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Victim advocates and attorneys argued that playing the video would help alert abuse survivors of an Aug. 3 deadline for filing claims against the archdiocese.

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But while the video is moving, it is aimed at people who already know about the deadline but can't decide if they want to file a claim, Judge Robert Kressel said. That goes beyond simply giving people notice of the deadline and amounts to advocacy that is outside the creditors' committee's purview, he added.

Church leaders are not legally responsible for encouraging claims, archdiocese attorney Charlie Rogers said. "We're not to be advocates. We're not to be psychiatrists. We're not to be counselors. But we're to provide notice."

Rogers said it's for the church to determine whether it has any moral obligation to encourage victims to file claims.

The archdiocese says it has spent $200,000 on newspaper ads and other efforts to publicize the claim filing cutoff date.