The Archdiocese of Boston and the Daughters of St. Paul issued a joint statement today announcing that they have settled the nuns' lawsuit against Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley and other trustees of its lay pension plan.
The Daughters, an international order of nuns whose North American headquarters is in Jamaica Plain, sued late last year to force the archdiocese to hand over the investments the Daughters had made in the archdiocese's pension plan on behalf of the order's lay employees.
The archdiocese did not disclose the amount of the settlement, but its statement said the agreement "included a transfer of the Archdiocese Pension Plan assets allocable to the Daughters of St. Paul to a new pension plan administered by the Daughters" and that it would "allow the Daughters to independently provide retirement benefits to their current and former employees."
The Daughters claim they have been trying to extricate their lay employees' assets from the church-run fund for years so that they could control the investments themselves. They had maintained they were owed nearly $1.4 million, based on their estimates of the value of their assets in 2007. In the lawsuit, they also claimed the archdiocese failed to maintain proper records of their assets.
The archdiocese denied that allegation and said both parties shared responsibility for delays. Church officials also said they had been moving toward completing the fund transfer when the order filed its lawsuit.
The lawsuit is one of a series of difficulties the archdiocese has had with its pension plans. Its fund for lay workers -- the plan the Daughters were invested in -- is significantly underfunded, and the church is in the process of transitioning from a traditional defined-benefit pension plan to a 401(k)-style defined contribution plan.
The Daughters, who have about 140 members in North America and about 2,500 worldwide, are devoted to communicating the Gospel. They run a multimedia publishing house, Pauline Books and Media, which publishes Catholic books, e-books, iPhone and iPod applications, music, and educational materials.
"The Archdiocese looks forward to continuing the tradition of having priests of the Archdiocese of Boston celebrate daily Mass for the Daughters at their chapel in Jamaica Plain as we work together to deepen and strengthen our common Faith," the statement said.
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