Archdiocese granted more time to provide information on credibly accused priests

| March 28, 2014

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been extended additional time to provide documents related to priests credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.

The documents relate to a lawsuit involving a plaintiff known as “John Doe 1.” The plaintiff alleges that a former priest of the Diocese of Winona, Thomas Adamson, who had assignments in the archdiocese, sexually abused him in 1976 or 1977 when he was a minor.

At a March 27 hearing in Ramsey County District Court, the archdiocese said the release involved tens of thousands of documents and that it required more time to ensure that the names of victims and other confidential information was properly protected.

At the hearing, Judge John Van de North said documents most relevant to the depositions of Archbishop John Nienstedt on April 2 and former vicar general Father Kevin McDonough on April 16 should be provided to Doe 1’s attorneys by March 31. Remaining documents must be submitted by the end of May.

Retired Judge Robert Schumacher, the special master assigned to the case, will handle future discovery disputes between the parties. The trial is set to start on Sept. 22.

The archdiocese has previously released the names of clergy who have credible claims against them of sexually abusing a minor in the archdiocese dating back to the 1950s. Most of the reported incidents of abuse occurred between the mid-1950s and the 1980s, and most of these men have been previously identified in media reports. All of them have been permanently removed from ministry, and many are deceased. Most have been out of ministry for a decade or more.

The list of these men’s names is posted on its website.

The archdiocese said in a March 27 statement that it “looks forward to working with the Court, the other parties and the Special Master to see that this case moves forward.

“Our goals, and the basis for every action and decision we are making, remain the protection of children, the healing of victims, and the restoration of trust of the faithful and our clergy who are serving our communities nobly and with honor,” the statement said.

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