Archdiocese creditors want sex abuse claim deadline extended

The creditors committee in the bankruptcy of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis wants clergy sex abuse victims to have until next year to file claims against the church.

At this point, August 3 is the final day for submitting claims. The committee wants that date pushed back to May 25, 2016, which would align with the deadline the state Legislature has set for victims to file abuse claims.

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In a court filing, Robert Kugler, the attorney for the creditors' committee, notes the judge overseeing the case has expressed concerns about the breadth and effectiveness of archdiocese efforts to publicize the claims-filing deadline, especially for abuse victims. Kugler wrote that dozens of parishes have provided sketchy or no notice at all of the deadline in their online church bulletins.

Kugler said a May 2016 deadline could also speed resolution of abuse claims against parishes and marshal insurance resources to fund a global settlement with abuse survivors.

Parish insurers — many of whom also insure the Archdiocese — will not enter into any universal settlement until after May 25, 2016, according to Kugler.

"This is only logical since the parish insurers cannot be sure that the scope of any release will cover all potential parish claims until after the May 25, 2016 date passes," Kugler wrote.

More than 170 abuse victims have filed claims against the archdiocese. At least 120 or so parishes are also filing claims, seeking as-yet-unspecified compensation for past and future costs related to resolving clergy sex abuse claims.

A hearing on the request is scheduled for July 30.