DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — The Diocese of Duluth and victims of clergy abuse have agreed to mediation.

The diocese filed for bankruptcy in December, saying it needed to protect assets and pay the victims of abuse. Judge Robert Kressel encouraged the parties to work with a mediator and is expected to approve the appointment of Gregg Zive, a federal judge with experience in diocesan bankruptcy cases.

WDIO-TV reports a diocese official has testified the district has assets of more than $5 million and liabilities of more than $12 million. Mediation is expected to begin May 1 in Minneapolis if neither side objects to the appointment of Zive as mediator.

Victims have until May 25 to file sexual abuse claims in bankruptcy court.