Posts Tagged Archdioces of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Twin Cities’ Hebda: Archdiocese’s response to abuse allegations was a failure not a crime / National Catholic Reporter

In the wake of the dismissal of criminal charges, the head of the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese is maintaining its legal innocence in its response to abuse allegations concerning former priest Curtis Wehmeyer, drawing a distinct line between a failure and a crime.

“In addition, Archbishop Bernard Hebda stated he will not release the investigative report into sexual misconduct allegations raised against his predecessor Archbishop John Nienstedt, calling it ‘unwise’ at this point.

“Hebda made the comments Tuesday (Aug. 2) in a column and interview published in the archdiocesan newspaper. They came nearly two weeks after the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office ended its criminal case against the archdiocese after it agreed to include an admission of wrongdoing into an earlier civil settlement along with several additional provisions.

“The criminal case, brought last summer and soon followed by the resignations of Nienstedt and Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piché, alleged that the archdiocese failed to protect children in relation to three minors sexually abused by Wehmeyer, a priest in the Twin Cities before he was laicized in March 2015. He is currently in prison in Wisconsin.

“‘To be clear, the archdiocese failed the victims of Curtis Wehmeyer and their family — and for that we are deeply sorry,’ Hebda said in the column published in The Catholic Spirit.

“He continued: ‘A failure, however, isn’t the same as a crime. That is a legal question, not a moral question … Committing a crime implies a criminal intent and is something altogether different from failing.'”

By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Judge rejects bid to tap parishes, schools in archdiocese bankruptcy / Star Tribune

Catholic parishes, schools and other church properties cannot be included among the assets in the bankruptcy of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, a federal judge ruled Thursday (Jul. 28).

“U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel denied the request by a committee representing clergy abuse victims to consolidate the assets of various entities linked to the archdiocese, which would have increased funds available to settle victims’ claims.

“The decision was met with relief by Catholic parishes and a pledge to appeal the ruling by the victims’ committee.

“Archbishop Bernard Hebda said he was pleased with the decision.”

By Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Lawyers say Minnesota archdiocese hiding $1 billion in assets / Associated Press on Cruxnow.com

Attorneys on Tuesday (May 24) accused a Minnesota archdiocese of sheltering more than $1 billion in assets to avoid big payouts to abuse survivors as part of the church’s bankruptcy case.

“They say the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has some $1.7 billion in assets — far more than the $49 million it lists in a filing this week. In court papers, they accuse the archdiocese of vastly undervaluing assets such as the St. Paul Cathedral and tucking money away in other corporations to shield it from creditors.

“Jeff Anderson, an attorney for hundreds of people claiming sexual abuse by priests, said the local church had schemed to defraud creditors and deny fair resolution of claims.”

By Steve Karnowski, Associated Press, on Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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An isolated Nienstedt tried to limit investigation into himself / Minnesota Public Radio

On April 10, 2014 — seven months into the clergy sex abuse scandal — Archbishop John Nienstedt’s top advisers gathered for a private meeting. They had just received several affidavits from an internal investigation of Nienstedt that had been authorized by the archbishop himself to address damaging rumors.

“The sworn statements accused Nienstedt of inappropriate behavior, according to people who read them, including sexual advances toward at least two priests …

“Nienstedt had authorized the investigation with the expectation that it would clear his name. Instead, it threatened to ruin it. At the meeting last spring, the advisers went around the room. Each said Nienstedt should resign.”

By Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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St. Paul Archdiocese declares bankruptcy, calling it ‘fairest’ course / Star Tribune

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Friday, becoming the 12th in the nation to say its treasury cannot withstand the unprecedented wave of lawsuits from clergy abuse victims.

“The move freezes lawsuits against the church, protecting the archdiocese from creditors while allowing it to develop a reorganization plan. It also halts three abuse trials scheduled to begin Jan. 26.”

By Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Nienstedt testimony contradicts 6-year-old letters / Associated Press

Archbishop John Nienstedt made a false statement when he testified earlier this year about his knowledge of an abusive priest’s past, according to a report Thursday by Minnesota Public Radio News.

“The station reported that during his April 2 sworn deposition, Nienstedt said he had learned about the prior conviction of the Rev. Gilbert Gustafson ‘during the last six months.’

“But letters obtained by MPR show that a parishioner wrote to Nienstedt about Gustafson in 2008. The parishioner said Gustafson had a criminal conviction and was working as a consultant for Twin Cities parishes.”

By Associated Press on Crunow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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First clergy abuse settlement with archdiocese reached under new law / Star Tribune

This story reports the first settlement reached under new Minnesota law that extends time allowed to bring lawsuits in child sexual abuse cases.

First clergy abuse settlement with archdiocese reached under new law

More than 40 years after being sexually abused by a Catholic priest in St. Paul, Jon Jaker claimed a groundbreaking victory for himself and other abuse victims Wednesday (Aug. 20).

Accompanied by his 84-year-old mother, Jaker, 54, announced he had reached a financial settlement with the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the first payout under a new law that temporarily extends the time in which such clergy abuse lawsuits can be brought to court.”

By Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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