Late last night, a plan of reorganization was filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court in the District of Connecticut, to settle the Diocese’s Chapter 11 reorganization case. The reorganization process has been ongoing since July 2021, when the Diocese filed for bankruptcy protection. Since that time, the Diocese has been working with the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and other stakeholders to create a fund to compensate survivors of abuse.
Under the proposed Plan, the Diocese and other entities will establish a Trust with funding in the amount of approximately $29 million. This Trust will provide financial restitution for survivors of sexual abuse who filed claims in the Diocese bankruptcy case. The details of the Trust are included in the reorganization plan, which is on file with the US Bankruptcy Court and a link to the plan can be found HERE. The Diocese, the Creditors Committee, parishes, Catholic Mutual Relief Society of America, the Diocese’s primary coverage provider, and others have participated in court-supervised mediation since September 2022 in an effort to reach a settlement. Once established, the trustee of the Trust and an independent claims reviewer, not the Diocese, will determine compensation amounts and claim eligibility for abuse survivors. Separately, the Diocese will be seeking Bankruptcy Court approval of a disclosure statement and will then ask the survivors and creditors to vote on approval of the Plan.
Since the Diocese filed for reorganization in July 2021, approximately 142 proofs of claim from abuse survivors were received before the deadline to file claims, which was set by the Bankruptcy Court.
The Diocese of Norwich has maintained a zero-tolerance policy regarding child abuse since the enactment of its first Sexual Misconduct Policy in 1990 and the implementation of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in 2002. Additionally, the Diocese has passed the annual audit related to the charter since it was established in 2002. There is no higher priority within the Diocese than the protection and spiritual welfare of our young. The Diocese of Norwich continues our longstanding commitment to the support and healing of victim-survivors of abuse and reaffirms our commitment to protect our children, young people, and vulnerable adults from harm.