Posts Tagged MPR

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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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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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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With Impunity for Bishops, the Coverups Continue / National Catholic Reporter

In June 2012, Fr. Curtis Wehmeyer was removed as a pastor, after the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese received a complaint of child sexual abuse against him. The archdiocese informed the police, and by November Wehmeyer had pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two boys, ages 12 and 14, and possessing child pornography. He is serving a five-year prison sentence.

“Ostensibly, the archdiocese had complied promptly and fully with the Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the standards for dealing with priests accused of abusing a minor. The archdiocese certainly spun the story that way. That may have been the final perception, if Minnesota Public Radio had not followed the story to its origins.” Editorial in National Catholic Reporter

Read the rest of NCR’s editorial by clicking here.

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