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Filing period ends for claims of abuse against New Ulm Catholic diocese

NEW ULM -- Wednesday was the final day for victims of past sexual abuse by Catholic priests to file civil claims.As of Tuesday, the Diocese of New Ulm and parishes within the diocese had received claims from 98 victims and survivors under the Min...

NEW ULM - Wednesday was the final day for victims of past sexual abuse by Catholic priests to file civil claims.
As of Tuesday, the Diocese of New Ulm and parishes within the diocese had received claims from 98 victims and survivors under the Minnesota Child Victims Act, which temporarily lifted the civil statute of limitations for historic claims of sexual abuse of a minor.
Of the dioceses’ 75 parishes, 28 are named in claims, according to a news release from the New Ulm diocese office of communications.
“I apologize on behalf of the church to victims and survivors of sexual abuse by priests,” said Bishop John LeVoir, who called on all Catholics to pray for those harmed through abuse by priests or others in ministry.
“It is a time to recommit to efforts to prevent the abuse of the vulnerable and to vow never to forget the lessons of this tragic chapter in church history,” LeVoir said, according to the release.
Although the period for filing civil claims is now closed, the diocese said anyone who has suffered sexual abuse or exploitation by a priest, or anyone else involved in church ministry in the Diocese of New Ulm, should immediately report such misconduct to local law enforcement, regardless of when the misconduct occurred. The diocese said they will continue to work with the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates and other representatives of victims and survivors and will take the time necessary to reach a “fair resolution of claims that allows the work of the church to continue while promoting healing.”
The release of names of priests, and actions by the Diocese of New Ulm, demonstrates a “willingness to be transparent about clergy who have abused children,” said Anderson, referring to the diocese’s March release of the names of 16 priests credibly accused of sexually abusing children.
“We will continue to work together to put this commitment to transparency and healing into action,” Anderson said.
Victims and survivors of abuse in the church may contact the diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator at 1421 Sixth St. N., New Ulm, MN 56073 or 507-233-5313 for counseling or other assistance in healing.

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