Posts Tagged sexual misconduct
St. Cloud Diocese to undergo unprecedented abuse investigation
The St. Cloud Diocese faces the prospect of making unprecedented disclosures about priests accused of sexual misconduct, under a ruling filed Monday (June 29) in Stearns County court that builds on a series of legal victories for Minnesotans claiming clergy abuse.
“Judge Kris Davick-Halfen ruled that lawyers can proceed with a ‘public nuisance’ claim against the diocese by an alleged victim of priest sex abuse — a move that allows attorneys to investigate the diocese’s records and documents on all priests who have been accused of misconduct over decades.
“Four of Minnesota’s six dioceses now face similar court-ordered scrutiny. Judges have made similar rulings on the public nuisance claim in the dioceses of Winona and New Ulm as well as the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The motion is under advisement in a case against a priest from the Diocese of Duluth …
“’This is a novel strategy that is particularly valuable because it focuses on the need of the public to be warned about potential child predators, said (Marci) Hamilton a law professor at Yeshiva University in New York and a national expert on clergy abuse litigation).”
By Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune — 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.
The time has come for the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese to fully disclose the results of an investigation by a local law firm into allegations of sexual misconduct with adults by Archbishop John Nienstedt.
“The health of any organization, especially one holding itself to the high standards of a religious community that regularly presents itself as a public arbiter of personal morality, is dependent on mutual respect and trust. Those characteristics, in turn, are dependent on transparency and accountability, particularly on the part of bishops, who hold almost unlimited authority over the Catholic community.”
Editorial by National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this editorial.
A showdown between Pope Francis and a conservative bishop in Paraguay is heating up as the bishop rejected charges that he sheltered a priest accused of sexual misconduct, and claimed that Pope Benedict XVI himself vouched for the suspect cleric just days before his election as pope in 2005.
“The conflict between the Vatican and Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano of the Diocese of Ciudad del Este was sparked by revelations in March that the bishop had promoted a Catholic priest who had been barred from ministry in Pennsylvania after church officials there said he molested several boys.”
By David Gibson, Religion News Service — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Archdiocese Made ‘Astonishing’ Claim in Concealing Seattle Priest’s Sexual Offenses / Seattle Post Intelligencer
The Archdiocese of Seattle failed to inform Catholic faithful, and made an “astonishing” claim and “serious misstatements” in seeking to explain why a priest suspended from ministry for sexual misconduct with a teenager went on saying mass and conducting weddings, say former leaders of a diocesan review board.
“‘We urge you to consider releasing the documents of the review board relating to this matter, subject to not identifying any victims, so that the laity can have complete and accurate information,’ retired Judge Terrence Carroll and former U.S. Attorney Mike McKay wrote earlier this month to Archbishop J. Peter Sartain.
Or as Carroll put it bluntly in a Monday (May 12) interview: ‘By God, let those files be open so people can know what and who we are dealing with. We may have another case like this out there.’”
By Joel Connelly, Seattle Post Intelligencer — Click here to read the rest of this story.