Updated: 6:52 p.m. | Posted: 12:57 p.m.
The southern Minnesota Catholic diocese of Winona-Rochester plans to file for bankruptcy protection later this month, as it faces lawsuits alleging former priests sexually abused children.
In a letter to parishioners this past weekend, Bishop John Quinn said that bankruptcy offers the best opportunity to resolve 121 claims of sexual abuse.
"Bishop Quinn, in consultation with a number of groups within the diocese, feels that this is the best way to help bring about healing and justice for survivors and a way forward for our entire diocesan community," said Matt Willkom, director of communications for the diocese.
He said the bankruptcy filing will not affect the day-to-day operations of diocese parishes and schools.
Victims would be compensated from diocesan savings, insurance and asset sales.
The Winona-Rochester diocese includes 20 counties and serves more than 131,000 Catholics.
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The diocese is following the path through bankruptcy as others have, including the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the dioceses of Duluth and New Ulm.