Posts Tagged Minnesota
“Jeff Anderson said this is the first case of a bishop in the United States being sued for coercion.”
A Twin Cities law firm intends to file a lawsuit against a current Minnesota bishop and a Roman Catholic diocese in the state alleging that a survivor of clergy sex abuse was threatened with retaliation if he revealed how he was assaulted as a child.
“St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson, who for many years has pursued many legal cases in connection with clergy sex abuse in Minnesota and elsewhere, said this is the first time a U.S. bishop has been sued for coercion.
“At a news conference scheduled for Tuesday (May 8) at Anderson’s offices, the abuse survivor and a priest from the diocese will speak publicly for the first time about ‘how the bishop threatened retaliation against the survivor and a family member if he disclosed the sexual abuse,’ a statement from Anderson’s law firm read.”
By Paul Walsh, Minneapolis Star Tribune — Read more …
More than 850 child sex abuse claims, including about 500 against Minnesota Catholic clergy, have been made in the past three years under a landmark Minnesota law sunsetting this week that allowed victims of older abuse cases to have their day in court.
“The Minnesota Child Victims Act, which rocked the Catholic Church to its core, set a May 25, 2016, deadline for filing older claims. Victims’ lawyers are rushing to the finish line, expecting a last-minute surge in claims …
“In the three years since the law’s passage, the local church has witnessed an archbishop’s resignation, two bankruptcies and the public naming of more than 100 priests credibly accused of child sex abuse …
“The speed and scope of the abuse claims underscores the pent-up demand for justice for sexual behavior ‘that has created an enormous cost to the victims, to their families and to society,’ said Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park, the chief Senate author of the law.
Latz said. ‘If [the church] had dealt with the problem up front, [it] never would have been in this position.'”
By Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune — Click here to read the rest of this story.
The Roman Catholic archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis and a deputy bishop resigned on Monday (June 15) after prosecutors recently charged the archdiocese with having failed to protect youths from abuse by pedophile priests.
“In statements released Monday morning, the archbishop, John C. Nienstedt, and an auxiliary bishop, Lee A. Piché, said they were resigning to help the archdiocese heal.
“‘My leadership has unfortunately drawn attention away from the good works of His Church and those who perform them,’ Archbishop Nienstedt said. ‘Thus my decision to step down.’
“The resignations come about 10 days after prosecutors in Minnesota filed criminal charges against the archdiocese for its mishandling of repeated complaints of sexual misconduct against a priest and a few days after the Vatican announced the formation of a tribunal for judging bishops accused of covering up or failing to act on cases of child sexual abuse by priests.”
By the New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Prosecutors in Minnesota filed criminal charges Friday (June 5) against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, accusing church leaders of mishandling repeated complaints of sexual misconduct against a priest and failing to follow through on pledges to protect children and root out pedophile clergymen.
“The charges and accompanying civil petition, announced by the Ramsey County prosecutor, John J. Choi, stem from accusations by three male victims who say that from 2008 to 2010, when they were underage, a local priest, Curtis Wehmeyer, gave them alcohol and drugs before sexually assaulting them.
“The criminal case amounts to a sweeping condemnation of the archdiocese and how its leaders have handled the abuse allegations — even after reforms were put in place by church leaders to increase accountability — and the charges are among the most severe actions taken by US authorities against a Catholic diocese.”
By Mitch Smith, The New York Times, in The Boston Globe — 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.
Long-sealed records of 14 Catholic priests who worked in four high schools and 45 parishes across southern Minnesota were opened to public scrutiny Tuesday (Oct. 7), revealing hundreds of documents indicating that the Diocese of Winona did not report claims of child sex abuse to law enforcement, did not remove offenders from ministry, and continued to financially support the priests even as the patterns of abuse became clear.”
By Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune — Click here to read the rest of this story.
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.
Just two years ago, the Roman Catholic archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis was making headlines as a leader in the battle against same-sex marriage. But for the last year and a half, the archbishop, John C. Nienstedt, has been battling to hold onto his post in the face of a series of scandals, which further deepened on Tuesday (July 15) with the filing of an explosive affidavit by the former chancellor of the archdiocese.
“The troubles started in May 2013 when the accountant for the archdiocese pleaded guilty to stealing more than $670,000 in church funds, and intensified when the chancellor, Jennifer M. Haselberger, quit and went public that autumn with allegations that the archbishop and his inner circle had covered up the actions of pedophile priests in recent years and funneled special payments to them.
“This month brought new revelations, first reported by the Catholic journal Commonweal, that Archbishop Nienstedt had earlier this year commissioned an investigation of himself in response to allegations that he had a series of inappropriate sexual relationships with men, including seminarians and priests he supervised, as he moved up the church’s hierarchy in Detroit and Minnesota.”
By Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times — 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.”