A federal judge Thursday signed off on the sale of a building owned by the bankrupt Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and also approved a claims filing deadline in the Duluth diocese bankruptcy.
Judge Robert Kressel approved the sale of the Hayden Center on Kellogg Boulevard in St. Paul to the Minnesota Historical Society for $4.5 million. The judge said he wants the proceeds from the sale to be set aside and not used to pay bankruptcy expenses, which have already topped $5 million.
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The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy protection a year ago amid more than 100 claims by people who said they were sexually abused by Catholic priests.
Abuse victims attorney Jeff Anderson said he'll be watching church property sales for any sign that sale prices are compromised by theologically-based restrictions the archdiocese wants placed on how property may be used. The archdiocese doesn't want properties used for purposes that conflict with Catholic theology or attack the church.
Kressel said he saw no indication that the Hayden Center sale price was affected by such limits.
The judge also gave sex abuse victims with claims against the Duluth church until May 25 to submit claims. The deadline will be published in newspapers and other media. Claims submitted by abuse victims will be kept confidential.