Thursday, December 5, 2013

St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese names 32 priests accused of sexually abusing minors

Tony Kennedy
Star Tribune
December 5, 2013

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis released a list today of 32 priests accused of sexually abusing minors.

The list was published in the online edition of The Catholic Spirit, the archdiocesan newspaper, in response to ongoing litigation of childhood sexual abuse cases in Ramsey County against the church and individual priests. Many of the priests named today have previously been named in criminal charges and civil lawsuits, but some are new to the public domain.

Archbishop John Nienstedt said in his written announcement that his administration will publicize additional “credible claims of abuse of a minor by a member of the clergy” as the archdiocese learns of them. If a credible claim is substantiated, the archdiocese will list the accused priest in a permanent disclosure section of its website, Nienstedt said.

“The disclosures made today are not intended to be final,” the archbishop wrote. “We cannot bring others to the light of Christ unless we first live out his love through our witness.”

The disclosure was ordered Monday in St. Paul by Judge John B. Van de North Jr. All but one of the priests named today were originally identified in a church document created in 2004 listing 33 priests credibly accused of child sexual abuse over several decades. The archdiocese and the Diocese of Winona have fought St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson’s attempts to make the names public for the past five years, winning court protection of the list in 2009.

Last month, amid a new wave of allegations of clergy sexual misconduct and a coverup by church officials, Nienstedt announced that he would release the names of some offenders if the court approved.


The issue of child sexual abuse and other misconduct by local priests erupted this year when Nienstedt’s top canon lawyer, Jennifer Haselberger, went to the Ramsey County attorney’s office with allegations against the archdiocese relating to child endangerment in the Wehmeyer case and alleged child pornography that was found on another priest’s computer.

Haselberger said Oct. 5 that she resigned her position after asking Nienstedt to “take his responsibilities toward the protection of the young and the vulnerable seriously.” She said she had not been successful in convincing the administration to “take the necessary steps to address these issues.

read full article at the Star Tribune

No comments:

Post a Comment