Posts Tagged Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

St. Louis Archbishop Carlson Claims to Be Uncertain If He Knew Sexual Abuse Was a Crime / St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson claimed to be uncertain that he knew sexual abuse of a child by a priest constituted a crime when he was auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, according to a deposition released Monday.

“During the deposition taken last month, attorney Jeff Anderson asked Carlson whether he knew it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a child.

“‘I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not,” Carlson replied. “I understand today it’s a crime.’”

By Lilly Fowler, St. Louis Post-Dispatch — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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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.

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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 interestClick here to read “Archbishop Nienstedt’s Deposition Draws Mixed Reviews.”

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Nienstedt Deposed / Commonweal

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.

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Task Force Faults Twin Cities Archdiocese for ‘Dreadful’ Abuses / Star Tribune

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.

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Number of Alleged Sex Abusers Greater Than Archdiocese Has Revealed / Minnesota Public Radio

The list symbolized all that victims believed was wrong about the Catholic Church’s handling of abuse claims — the secrecy, the failure to warn the public, the hidden offenders. Victims’ attorney Jeff Anderson received the list under court seal as part of a lawsuit in 2009. In December, a judge ordered the archdiocese to release the names to the public. The secrecy appeared finished.

“But it wasn’t. The list of 33 was incomplete. An MPR News investigation has found the actual number was more than double the archdiocese’s official count. The priests served in nearly every parish in the archdiocese.

They include men who admitted abusing children, such as the Rev. Gerald Funcheon, who testified under oath in 2012 that he had sexually abused a number of boys. ‘I couldn’t count ’em up,’ he said. ‘I’ll go, I don’t know. I’ll go to 18 … I can’t give you a number on this.’”

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

Here is a follow-up story by Brian Roewe in National Catholic Reporter, Report Alleges Larger List of Abusive Priests in Twin Cities

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Archdiocesan Leaders Avoid Charges in Two Clergy Misconduct Cases / Star Tribune

Two Twin Cities prosecutors on Wednesday (Jan. 29) declined to file criminal charges against local Catholic officials in the two most prominent investigations in the clergy sexual misconduct cases that have rocked the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis …

“Disappointed advocates for the victims of clergy sexual abuse said the archdiocese was ‘let off the hook,’ and St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson blasted the authorities for ‘defective analysis.’

‘“These are the two cases that screamed out for prosecution of archdiocesan officials,’ said Anderson, who represents Wehmeyer’s victims in litigation.

“Choi and St. Paul Police Chief Tom Smith expressed ongoing concern about the archdiocese’s handling of clergy sex abuse cases and said that related investigations are pending. Smith said he will keep at least two officers assigned full time to cases involving the archdiocese.”

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

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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.

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St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese Names 32 Priests Accused of Sexually Abusing Minors / Star Tribune

The publication of the list, which came after a court order, is unprecedented in Minnesota. It marks the beginning of a new protocol within the archdiocese in which it has pledged to continue identifying any priests found to have abused a child. It also is spurring calls by the St. Paul police for victims to step forward and demands from victims’ advocates for names of “the rest” — priests they believe should have been named. By Jean Hopfensperger, Tony Kennedy and Richard Meryhew, Star Tribune — Click here to read the rest of this article.

Additionally — St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese Releases Names of Abuser Priests, Brian Rowe, National Catholic Reporter

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Task Force Supervisor to Control Group’s Access to Clergy Abuse Information / Minnesota Public Radio

The following story presents evidence suggesting some members of the Catholic hierarchy remain unwilling to come clean regarding clergy sexual abuse:

A task force created to address the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will only have access to information provided by a church official. The task force will not investigate allegations against specific priests, and priest files will not be made public, according to an Oct. 21 letter to clergy by the Rev. Reginald Whitt. By Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio — Read the rest of this story by clicking here.

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