ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The archbishop of the St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese says he has ordered a bankruptcy declaration because it’s the fairest way to help victims of sexual abuse by priests.

Archbishop John Nienstedt’s remarks came in a letter shortly after Chapter 11 bankruptcy was filed Friday.

Nienstedt says the process will allow what he calls “finite resources” to be distributed fairly to victims. And he says it will allow the archdiocese to still carry out its essential mission to the 800,000-plus Catholics in the state’s largest diocese.

Nienstedt also says the bankruptcy isn’t intended to silence victims or keep them from having their day in court. But does put lawsuits on hold.

RELATED: Archdiocese Of St. Paul & Minneapolis Files For Bankruptcy

Divide Among Attorneys, Victim Groups Over Church Bankruptcy

(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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