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Priest addresses Diocese Bankruptcy

The Diocese of Winona-Rochester filed for Bankruptcy in November and a priest is visiting Rochester to address the Church's past of child sexual abuse.

Posted: Jan 23, 2019 12:27 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. -

The Diocese of Winona Rochester is facing 121 claims of child sexual abuse by clergy and while the process for the bankruptcy is still happening, one priest is speaking out about the Church's scandals.

"Now, they are working towards settlements and towards a final summary of all the claims," Father Jason Kern, the Vocations Director for the Diocese said.

Kern says now is a time of healing for the Church which has been rocked by child sexual abuse claims.

"The church is broken, it has broken members and leaders like myself who are not perfect and we are all in need of healing," Kern said.

Kern is upfront about the fact that the claims have also hurt him.

"I suffer with them in this," Kern said. "It's been difficult, all of the allegations and working through these things for what feels like way too long."

Selina Leang is active in the Church and supports the Diocese's move.

"As practicing Catholics, we have to hold our bishops, our priests, everyone in the Diocese to be accountable for their actions as well and continue to pray for them," Leang said. "They are our shepherds."

Leang stands by her Church because it has always been about faith for her.

"You can't just run away because something goes bad, something goes wrong, that's an easy way out for a lot of people," Leang said. "I know that's harsh but it's so true, people leave so many things but when you stand strong and you know what you are fighting for is for a good cause and that's what makes it worthwhile."

Father Kern tells KIMT the lawyers and insurance companies are still going through the bankruptcy process and has no specific timelines as of now.

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