Posts Tagged Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul
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.
Roman Catholic leaders in Minnesota pledged on Monday (Oct. 13) to enact new procedures to help protect children from sexual abuse by the clergy as they revealed some terms of the settlement for a lawsuit brought last year by a man who had been abused by a priest when he was a teenage altar boy.
“Church officials and lawyers for the victim, known only as John Doe 1, described the settlement as a major step forward in how the church handles and investigates reports of sexual abuse. According to the settlement, if the archdiocese receives a claim of sexual abuse, it must alert law enforcement officials and wait until their investigation is complete before beginning its own.”
By Julie Bosman, The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis is being investigated for ‘multiple allegations’ of inappropriate sexual conduct with seminarians, priests, and other men, according to the archbishop’s former top canon lawyer, Jennifer Haselberger. The investigation is being conducted by a law firm hired by the archdiocese. Nienstedt denies the allegations.” By grant Gallico, Commonweal — Click here to tread the rest of this story.
A Catholic archbishop in Minnesota who has been one of the hierarchy’s most vocal opponents of gay rights is himself the target of an investigation into allegations that he had a series of sexual relationships with priests, seminarians and other men, it was reported Tuesday (July 1). The investigation of Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt is being conducted by a prominent Minneapolis law firm hired by the archdiocese after church officials received numerous allegations against Nienstedt.” By David Gibson, Religion News Service, in National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Retired Archbishop Flynn Doesn’t Recall Details from His Handling of Clergy Abuse / Minnesota Public Radio
Faced with tough questions under oath last month, former Twin Cities archbishop Harry Flynn said at least 134 times that he could not remember how he handled clergy sexual abuse cases during his 13-year tenure, according to documents made public Wednesday (Jun. 4).
“Flynn, 81, retired six years ago. He said he didn’t have dementia or other diagnosed memory problems. ‘I think it has more to do with age than anything,’ he said, although he noted that he has been diagnosed with cancer, pneumonia and Legionnaires’ disease.”
By Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Twin Cities Archbishop’s Deposition Reveals Flaws, Oversights in Abuse Policies / National Catholic Reporter
Shortly after becoming coadjutor archbishop of the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese in 2007, John Nienstedt held a meeting with core staff officials to discuss the state of safe environments in the archdiocese.
“During that two-hour meeting, ‘it didn’t occur to me,’ the now-archbishop said in a deposition released Tuesday (Apr. 22), to ask for a copy of the John Jay list — those priests the archdiocese listed as credibly accused in the 2004 John Jay College of Criminal Justice study on clergy sex abuse.
“Nor did it occur to Nienstedt to document the names of priests currently enrolled in a monitoring program or to record any of the discussion among his delegate for safe environment, Fr. Kevin McDonough; his chancellors for civil and canonical affairs; and him.
“‘It was verbal,’ the archbishop said.
“Non-documentation would become an occasional norm for him and McDonough when discussing sensitive matters, Nienstedt said.”
By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
St. Paul Archbishop Says During ‘Extraordinary Deposition’ He Was Unaware of Most Child Sex Abuse Issues / Star Tribune
Archbishop John Nienstedt said he was not aware that known child sex abusers were working at the archdiocese during his tenure, nor did he track exactly which priests were being monitored, according to testimony released Tuesday (Apr. 22).
“Nienstedt’s extraordinary deposition, ordered by a judge and the first of its kind by a serving archbishop in Minnesota, was taken April 2 as part of a clergy sex abuse lawsuit. The claim is one of dozens brought against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis since a change in state law last year opened a wider window for pursuing child sex abuse claims.”
By Jean Hopfensperger and Chao Xiong, Star Tribune — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Also of interest — Click here to read “Archbishop Nienstedt’s Deposition Draws Mixed Reviews.”
On April 2, Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis was deposed by attorney Jeff Anderson as part of a lawsuit filed by a man who claims he was molested by a priest in the 1970s. The plaintiff alleges that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, along with the Diocese of Winona, created a public nuisance by failing to disclose information about clerics accused of sexual abuse. At a press conference this afternoon (Apr. 22), Anderson released as lightly redacted transcript of the deposition. The archdiocese posted the transcript and full video to its website, noting that Anderson did not ask any questions about the abuse allegations that occasioned the deposition.” By Grant Gallicho, Commonweal — Click here to read the rest of this story and listen to Nienstedt’s deposition.
Twin Cities Task Force into Prevention of Clergy Child Sexual Abuse Reports ‘Serious Shortcomings’ in Archdiocesan Policies / National Catholic Reporter
Too much power in too few hands. Inadequate oversight. Broken communication channels and compartmentalized information. An outdated record-keeping system, and no meaningful program to audit and monitor compliance.
“Those ‘serious shortcomings’ emerged from a lay task force’s six-month independent review of the policies and organizational structures within the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese related to the prevention of clergy sexual abuse of minors.
“‘The work of the Task Force revealed that, despite Archdiocesan policies and procedures designed to protect against clergy sexual abuse of minors, a flawed organizational structure with little oversight and accountability created opportunities for some priests to harm children, the seven-member Safe Environment and Ministerial Standards Task Force said in its 53-page report, released Monday.” (boldface added)
By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Rep0rter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis suffers from ‘serious shortcomings’ in its handling of child sex-abuse complaints that have allowed priests to continue abusing victims, sometimes for years, a task force reported Monday (Apr. 14).
“The solution, according to the church-ordered study, is to foster a culture that ‘places victims first’ and creates more accountability by involving ordinary church members in the oversight and discipline of wayward clergy …
“’As long as we act like these are ‘mistakes’ and not intentional, self-serving choices by smart but selfish men, kids will continue being hurt and crimes will continue being concealed,’ said Barbara Dorris, national outreach director for Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.”
By Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Secret Accounts Paid for Clergy Misconduct But Left Church Open to Financial Abuse / Minnesota Public Radio
The Rev. Stanley Kozlak served nearly three decades in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. But then he fathered a child and the archdiocese needed him gone.
“Removing Kozlak quietly wouldn’t be cheap, but church leaders knew how to move money discreetly. The archdiocese held two secret accounts, controlled by the archbishop, designed to make problems like Kozlak disappear.
“To get him out of active ministry, Archbishop Harry Flynn agreed in 2002 to pay the fallen priest $1,900 a month ‘disability’ for life, plus $800 a month in rent for life, and $980 a month ‘to replace the social security payment until Father Kozlak reaches age 67 when he would receive his full social security.’
“Kozlak’s package was part of a secret financial system that let archdiocese leaders divert millions of dollars away from traditional church work to deal with clergy misconduct.”
By Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio — Click here to read the rest of this story.