The Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed a clergy abuse lawsuit July 25, rejecting the plaintiff’s claim that the case was not subject to the state’s six-year statute of limitations because he had repressed memories of the alleged abuse.
The ruling upholds a district judge’s original dismissal of the case in 2010 when he ruled against the reliability of repressed memory claims.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona were named as defendants in the lawsuit filed in 2006 on behalf of James Keenan, who said he was abused by former Catholic priest Thomas Adamson in the 1980s while Adamson was serving at Risen Savior in Burnsville.
Adamson, who served in both the archdiocese and Winona diocese, was removed from public ministry in 1984. In a statement released July 26, the archdiocese said abuse claims made about Adamson in a press conference the day after the Supreme Court’s ruling have been public for more than two decades.
“The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis deeply regrets any pain or harm caused by Adamson,” the statement said. “As we have stated over the past two decades, we are very sorry for any mistakes made in the handling of this situation.”
The statement added that the archdiocese is committed to ensuring the safety of children and young people and continues to implement the requirements of the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” adopted by the U.S. bishops in 2002. The requirements include background checks of adults who serve with minors as well as training for priests, religious, lay staff, teachers, coaches, volunteers and children in Catholic schools and religious education programs.
Mandatory reporting of instances of clergy or lay sexual misconduct is a policy followed throughout the archdiocese. Anyone with knowledge of sexual misconduct in a parish is encouraged to call the proper authorities or notify the archdiocese by calling (651) 291-4497.