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A note from the prior provincial: Crosiers emerge from Chapter 11

 

Dear Crosier Friends,
 
On March 22, 2018, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota held the hearing to con-firm the plan of reorganization for the Crosiers that was filed jointly by the Crosiers and the Committee of Abuse Survivors. The plan was accepted by 100% of the creditors (including survivors) who voted for it. Out of 69 sexual abuse claims that were filed, 66 survivors voted, and all voted to accept the plan. This is the first religious entity case that has been able to negotiate the param¬eters of a plan before the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case was filed, which allowed the Crosiers to exit Chapter 11 before the end of April. Throughout this process there has been cooperation and collaboration with the survivors’ attorneys and the committee. 
 
You may recall that the Crosiers and our insurer, Hartford, agreed to fund a plan with a total of $25.5 million. Of that amount, Crosiers will pay approxi-mately $5.7 million and the balance will come from Hartford. As we advised everyone at the beginning of the case, none of the funds used by the Crosiers to fund our part of the plan came from restricted contributions that include contributions to international mission efforts, scholarship funds for education of our seminarians, or funds restricted for senior care and retirement. Our portion to fund the plan came largely from the sale of property and our limited savings, which we now need to build up again for the sustainability of Crosier Religious Life. 
 
As we gathered at the federal courthouse in Minneapolis on March 22, there was a spirit of hope and mutual respect as we greeted one another. There was some anxiety as well because a legal proceeding is not assured of completion until the judge actually states his/her intention at the end of the hearing. The hearing pro¬ceeded smoothly with a few legal steps needing to be ironed out, but, by and large, the process moved forward as hoped. 
 
The judge indicated early on that he wanted to hear testimony from at least one witness on behalf of the Crosiers. As prior provincial, that role fell to me. It consisted largely of answering a number of yes and no questions, so that part was straightforward. At the end of the questioning, I was asked whether I had anything else to add. I took the opportunity to apologize to the survi¬vors for the pain and suffering caused by the actions of some Crosiers, actions that are antithetical to our life and mission that aims to touch suffering with hope. I emphasized that the Crosiers are committed to fostering healthy community life that includes sexual health and accountability. I concluded my remarks repeating my heartfelt apology to the survivors. 
 
Afterward, other parties in the room were given an opportunity to make statements. The legal counsel represent¬ing the Committee of Abuse Survivors and the largest group of survivors expressed their deep gratitude for the sincere apology and commended the Crosiers for having been forthright and transparent over the past 20 years in dealing with sexual abuse of minors. It was stated that our process could serve as a model for resolving other such situations. 
 
We are grateful to everyone who has been involved in this process. As a result of the process, which also provides a fund for any additional claimants who might come forward later who allege abuse prior to the confirmation of our plan, Crosiers will be operating free of bankruptcy and the survivors will be compensated through a trust that was set up for their benefit under the plan. We are very pleased with this consensual process and that we have been able to provide just and equitable compensation to those who have been harmed and to assist them in healing.
 
Sincerely in the Holy Cross,
 
Very Rev. Thomas A. Enneking, osc
Prior Provincial
Crosier Fathers and Brothers