Posts Tagged Madeleine Baran

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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New documents show falsehoods in Nienstedt testimony / Minnesota Public Radio

Documents made public Monday (Aug. 10) in a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis show that Archbishop John Nienstedt made false statements under oath in April about his knowledge of a priest accused of child sexual abuse.”

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

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MPR series ‘Betrayed by Silence: an investigation in four chapters’ is available at website

Voice of the Faithful® posted a link here several days ago to Minnesota Public Radio’s documentary Betrayed by Silence. The station’s expanded story about the Catholic clergy child sexual abuse and cover-up scandal in Minnesota’s Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is available now in four chapters on its website. Click on the titles below for individual chapters in the Betrayed by Silence story.

Betrayed by Silence
For decades, leaders of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis have been reassigning, excusing and overlooking sexually abusive priests among their ranks. Some received additional retirement benefits. In August, a top church lawyer, shocked at what she saw, brought the story to MPR News. What happened next is still unfolding.

It all began in Lafayette
After clergy sex abuse rocks a Louisiana diocese, a newly appointed bishop develops the tactics he’ll later use in Minnesota.

The church protects its own
With the abuse scandal threatening to spread beyond control, an archbishop and a victims’ attorney become adversaries.

Archbishop makes vow, breaks it
Harry Flynn helps craft the U.S. church’s tough-sounding response to the abuse crisis, but then he disregards it at home.

Cover-up unravels from the inside
A new archbishop’s top adviser wants no part of the decades-long effort to protect abusive priests and keep their crimes secret.

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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.

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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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Abusive Priest Hid in Plain Sight for Years / Minnesota Public Radio

One night on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota nearly four decades ago, a 36-year-old Roman Catholic priest asked a young boy to share his bed. The boy was about 9 or 10 years old. As he climbed into bed, he asked the priest a question: Are you going to molest me, like my relative does when he asks me to spend the night? The answer was yes. What happened that night remained secret.” By Madeleine Baran, Tom Scheck, Sasha Aslanian, Minnesota Public Radio

Read and listen to the rest of this story by clicking here.

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Priest Demands Nienstedt Explain Handling of Clergy Sexual Abuse / Minnesota Public Radio

‘He needs to stand before us and explain himself,’ the Rev. Stephen O’Gara, pastor of the Church of the Assumption (St. Paul, Minn.), said in a Sunday (Oct. 27) homily. ‘Only then will we have the respect called to his office. It’s about arrogance, and we all fall victim to arrogance in some degree or in some place in our lives. But this is more. This is not some small matter. This is a big deal. It’s the first time, I must say, in 69 years that I’m embarrassed to be Catholic.'” By Madelaine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio — Read Baran’s entire article by clicking here.

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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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Archdiocese Didn’t Report Preist’s Pornography / Minnesota Public Radio

Upset that her superiors had refused to take action, a former church official reported to police that leaders of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis had kept secret for eight years images of pornography — some of it appearing to show children — belonging to one of its priests.” By Madeleine Baran and Mike Cronin, Minnesota Public Radio

Read the rest of this story by clicking here.

Minnesota Public Radio broke this story on Oct. 3. Since then, media in Minnesota have brought additional details to light. The archdiocese’s vicar general has resigned, and the archbishop has denied any wrongdoing. Click the links below:

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Archdiocese Knew of Priest’s Sexual Misbehavior, Yet Kept Him in Ministry / Minnesota Public Radio

Curtis Wehmeyer kept his white 2006 camper parked outside Blessed Sacrament Church in St. Paul where he served for six years, three of them as pastor.

“With the shades drawn, Wehmeyer could avoid the obligations of priestly life. He got drunk, smoked pot and looked at child pornography. He also lured to the camper two boys whose mother worked at the parish, plied them with alcohol, turned on pornography and told them to touch themselves. Several times, he touched one of the boys, according to police records.

“The family trusted “Father Curt.” As a priest, he had special powers. He could anoint the sick and baptize the young. Maybe, the mother hoped, he could inspire one of her sons to become a priest.

“That hope died last summer when one of the boys told his aunt what happened in the camper. The mother went to another priest, and then to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Soon after, police arrested Wehmeyer, who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing the boys, ages 12 and 14, and possessing child pornography. A judge sentenced the priest to five years in prison.”

By Madeleine Baran, MPR News. Read or listen to the rest of her story by clicking here.

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