In Minnesota, Catholic Charities sues near-bankrupt diocese

Catholic News Agency | 7/12/2018 | Staff
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St. Cloud, Minn., Jul 12, 2018 / 06:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The fate of a children’s home is the subject of a lawsuit against the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minn., by the diocese’s Catholic Charities affiliate, which fears the diocese’s planned bankruptcy could disrupt services at the facility.

“We continue to support the mission of Catholic Charities, and we know they continue to support the mission and ministries of the diocese,” Joseph Towalski, director of the Office of Communications at the Diocese of St. Cloud, told CNA July 11. “We believe the complaint will be properly resolved through the judicial process.”

Towalski - Complaint - Review - Counsel - Diocese

Towalski said the complaint is under review by legal counsel and the diocese would not comment on it at this time.

After 74 claims related to clergy sex abuse were made, the diocese made a Feb. 28 announcement that it would seek bankruptcy protection, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.

Complaint - Concerns - Ownership - St - Cloud

The complaint concerns ownership of St. Cloud Children’s Home and surrounding properties. The children’s home facilities include several cottages, classrooms, a chapel, an administrative building, a heating plant and grounds improvements including sidewalks, fences and paved parking.

Catholic Charities’ complaint asks the diocese to transfer ownership of the facility and surrounding area to the charity.

Position - Steve - Pareja - Catholic - Charities

“This is an unusual position we find ourselves in,” Steve Pareja, the Catholic Charities affiliate’s executive director, said July 2.

separately run organization. Our separateness comes with obligations – legally and morally – to protect the financial health and sustainability of Catholic Charities and to be responsible stewards of the assets our donors have entrusted to us.”

Lawsuit - Filing - Responsibilities - Pareja

The lawsuit filing reflected those responsibilities, according to Pareja.

Beginning in 2014, diocesan officers had committed to transfer to Catholic Charities the St. Cloud Children’s Home and surrounding property. Relying on that commitment, Catholic Charities said, it had incurred “significant debt” to build a new 16-unit residential treatment...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Catholic News Agency
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