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After hundreds of child abuse scandals broke out, a Montana Roman Catholic diocese filed for bankruptcy on Friday.
Filing bankruptcy was advised after the cases resulted in a $17.5 million settlement. Under the settlement, the Catholic Church will pay $15 million to the 362 victims, and $2.5 million for any claims made in the future.
According to Reuters, this Montana Catholic Church has offered to pay the victims’ even as they file for bankruptcy. Bishop George Leo Thomas said that he apologized to any person that had been abused by anyone involved with the church, but he also noted that most of the alleged abusers either didn’t participate in the ministry or were deceased.
The attorneys’ said that another part of the settlement includes Bishop Thomas to publicly apologize to the victims, publish the names of the priests that have been creditably accused, offer to meet with any of the abused, and provide counseling, while also reinforcing church policies, according to the Associated Press.
The Montana Church is the 11th diocese to file for bankruptcy.