Today marks the deadline for filing claims of sexual abuse of minors under an agreement entered into as part of the bankruptcy process for the Diocese of Duluth.
Duluth Bishop Paul D. Sirba issued the following statement:
The past three years have allowed many victims of clergy sexual abuse to come forward who had not previously done so. Even a single victim would be one too many, so to know that more than 100 have come forward in our diocese after all these decades is heartbreaking. And there are others who, for a variety of reasons, have not come forward. Each of these individuals also represents many loved ones who have suffered with them. I am so sorry for your suffering.
To every victim, I want to reiterate a message I have repeatedly shared with Catholic parishioners across northeastern Minnesota over the past several months: We love you and want to help bring healing. Your life is a gift of God that we cherish. In our eyes you remain our brothers and sisters no matter what your feelings toward the church may be.
As we have for many years, we continue to invite anyone who has not yet come forward to do so. We will continue to offer whatever help we can.
Together with all the Catholic faithful, I want you to know that for more than two decades, this diocese has, with hard, dedicated work, made protecting young people a chief commitment. That work will continue with the same determination and vigilance in the years to come.
We will continue to offer victims our support, our prayers and whatever help we can.