Winona, MN (KROC-AM News) - A formal announcement is expected on Tuesday, but Sunday worshippers at Catholic Churches throughout southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin were given notice yesterday that the Diocese of Winona-Rochester will soon be going through bankruptcy reorganization. A letter from Bishop John Quinn was included in the church bulletins distributed to parishioners that indicated the diocese would be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy by the end of the month. The Bishop’s letter also states the filing would not impact the regular operations of the churches and schools that are part of the diocese.

The move was expected given the large number of clergy sex abuse victims that filed claims against the diocese. Over 120 claims were filed by victims abused by over a dozen priests, who were previously identified by the church as credibly accused of sexual misconduct involving children.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis filed for bankruptcy reorganization three years ago. A $210 million settlement with clergy sex abuse victims was announced in May and was approved by a federal bankruptcy judge in late September, clearing the way for the Archdiocese to emerge from bankruptcy.

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