Wednesday, June 1, 2016 3:36 AM

Gallup diocese nears $25M in settlementGALLUP, N.M. – As its bankruptcy case wraps up, the Diocese of Gallup has allocated millions of dollars to compensate victims of sexual abuse.

At the diocese’s bankruptcy confirmation hearing on June 21, it could get final confirmation of its plan of reorganization, reported The Gallup Independent. That would be a huge step forward for the diocese, which has been wrangling with abuse claimants for more than a year.

The diocese is creating a fund of between $21 million and $25 million to be used for professional fees and settlements with the 57 abuse survivors who led claims in bankruptcy court. Professional fees are now listed at more than $3.6 million, and some settlements for abuse victims are expected to approach $300,000.

The Gallup Diocese and attorneys and representatives for the clergy abuse claimants also agreed on 17 non-monetary provisions for the settlement.

One such provision will require Bishop James S. Wall to personally sign letters of apology to all abuse claimants and, if requested, their immediate family members. Wall will also speak at each operating Catholic parish or school where abuse occurred or where identified abusers served.

The Gallup Diocese is also expected to take measures to help prevent clergy sexual abuse in the future.

Another Navajo sues Mormon churchAnother member of the Navajo Nation is suing the Mormon Church, alleging she was sexually abused in a former church program.

The woman identified as B.N. in tribal court documents says she was sexually molested and raped multiple times while in foster care in Utah, from 1965 to 1972. She was among thousands of American Indians who participated in the church’s Indian Student Placement Program.

Two Navajo siblings sued The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in March outlining similar allegations. Attorneys representing the three plaintiffs say church leaders failed to protect the children.

The church has said it doesn’t tolerate abuse of any kind. It also is challenging the jurisdiction of the tribal court.

The Mormon Church says two Navajos who alleged they were sexually abused in a former church program wrongly placed their lawsuit in Navajo Nation court.

Attorneys for the church wrote in a federal court documents Tuesday that the tribal court lacks jurisdiction because none of the alleged conduct took place on the reservation.

Associated Press