The Spokane Roman Catholic Diocese has agreed to pay at least $48 million to victims of clergy sexual abuse to settle its long-running bankruptcy case.

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The Spokane Roman Catholic Diocese has agreed to pay at least $48 million to victims of clergy sexual abuse to settle its long-running bankruptcy case.

The settlement would be paid through sales of diocese’s assets, contributions of more than $20 million from insurance companies, and money from various Catholic entities in the diocese, according to a news release issued by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Gregg Zive, mediator in the case.

In addition, parishes in the diocese would be responsible for raising $10 million.
The plan also includes non-monetary provisions that “are as critical as the monetary provisions,” Zive said in the release. “It is hoped that the resolution of this case will help provide the survivors with some measure of closure and allow them to move forward and continue the healing process.”

The settlement still needs to be confirmed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of Washington, and then voted on by creditors.

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The Spokane Diocese filed for bankruptcy in December 2004, at that time listing assets of $11 million against liabilities of at least $81.3 million, most from sex abuse claims.

Since then, there has been bitter wrangling over issues such as whether parish churches and schools can be sold to pay for settlements and how to determine how much compensation each group of creditors would receive.

The Spokane settlement follows the $75 million settlement in the bankruptcy case of the Portland Archdiocese last month, which was the first U.S. diocese to file for bankruptcy protection after the nationwide sex-abuse scandals broke several years ago.