Posts Tagged St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese
What were they thinking?
“Did the officials in Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo really see it as no big deal to bring in John Nienstedt, the former St. Paul and Minneapolis archbishop, as a visiting priest at St. Philip parish in Battle Creek?
“They truly didn’t anticipate this would blow up into a big controversy, one likely to end badly?
“Nobody considered whether this would underscore — once again — the inexplicable obtuseness of Church officials in regards to issues around clergy sex abuse?”
By Julie Mack, MLive.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Catholics, community react to priest’s arrival amid sex abuse backdrop / Kalamazoo Gazette/MCLive.com
” … When Archbishop John Nienstedt celebrated three Masses at St. Philip Catholic Church this weekend (Jan. 17), he was merely helping out his old friend Fr. John Fleckenstein, who is ill. He plans to continue to help as needed for about a six months …
“Nienstedt may have passed muster with church leaders. But many parents, community members and former victims of sexual abuse are angered by the arrival of the archbishop who is embroiled in one of the ugliest clergy sex scandals in the country, at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.”
By Rosemary Parker, Kalamazoo Gazette on MLive.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and representatives for several hundred alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse are at odds over a seven-minute video that victims want to play following Mass in all 187 of the archdiocese’s parishes.
“The video, in which three alleged abuse victims appear, urges others to come forward and file claims against the archdiocese ahead of an Aug. 3 deadline. Filing formal claims is a critical step for those seeking to share a court-brokered settlement with the archdiocese and its insurance carriers.
“Lawyers for alleged victims have asked Judge Robert Kressel of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in St. Paul, Minn., to approve a motion that would send the video to all parishes and request that they play the video ‘in connection with each Mass service’ on July 11 and July 12. The request stops short of asking the judge to explicitly order parishes to play the video.”
By Tom Corrigan, The Wall Street Journal — Click here to read the rest of this story.
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.
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.
Charges of church negligence in handling of sexually abusive priests will be heard by a jury this fall.
The clergy sex abuse lawsuit against the Twin Cities archdiocese will move to a jury trial, a Ramsey County district judge ruled Monday.
“Attorneys for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona had asked the court for a summary judgment that would dismiss the case.
“But Judge John Van de North said a jury trial would proceed, now set for Sept. 22.
“‘This case needs to be tried,’ said Van de North. The alleged victim ‘deserves a day in court, at least on the negligence claims.’”
By Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune — Click here to read the rest of this story.
It is time for Archbishop John Nienstedt to go.
Reading the affidavit of Jennifer Haselberger, the former chancellor of the Archdiocese of St. Paul, is grim. Caveat: A lawyer friend told me that a good defense attorney could drive several trucks through the document and that may be true. But, even if a quarter of what is asserted in that document is true, it is obvious that the Archdiocese of St. Paul has failed to live up to the bishops’ own requirements regarding the protection of children. Instances of suspected child abuse were not reported to the civil authorities. Clergy were not removed from active ministry as required by the Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children. Almost every page of Haselberger’s affidavit illustrates a clerical culture that, when confronted with evidence of proven or potential sexual abuse of a minor, instinctively reacted with the thought, ‘poor Father.”’
By Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this commentary.
The hour-long documentary Betrayed by Silence on Minnesota Public Radio presents the systemic coverup by three archbishops of the St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese, including the current one, over the sexual abuse of children in that diocese — all the while, the archbishops were professing publicly to the contrary. Whether one believes it represents lying, denial, or anything else, the piece demonstrates conclusively what has become the systemic pattern of Catholic hierarchy’s response to the pervasive evidence of sexual abuse of children by clergy. In no other part of our society would such blatant contradictions be tolerated without accountability of those responsible.
Click here to listen to this documentary.
Posted by William Casey, former Voice of the Faithful® Board of Trustees Chairman