BILLINGS, Mont. — Attorneys representing victims of sex abuse by priests and other employees of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Great Falls-Billings argue parish money being held by the diocese should be available to pay a settlement to victims.

The victims group argued in December that $70 million in real estate and another $16 million in parish money should be on the table. The diocese filed for bankruptcy protection in March 2017 as part of its effort to settle about 80 claims while continuing its ministry.

The Billings Gazette reports the judge overseeing the bankruptcy case wanted separate arguments on the real estate and parish money.

The parish money arguments were filed Jan. 19. The diocese has until Feb. 9 to respond.

James Stang, who represents some victims, said determining available assets will help set a settlement amount.


Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com