Archdiocese receives court’s OK to proceed with disclosure

| December 2, 2013

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis received approval from a Ramsey County judge Dec. 2 to release information about priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors in the archdiocese.

The decision by Judge John Van de North modifies a protective order related to the disclosure that had been in place in Ramsey County District Court since 2009.

The information is set to be released Dec. 5 on a new page of the archdiocesan website and in the Dec. 5 issue of The Catholic Spirit.

The disclosure will include the following information, according to a statement released by the archdiocese:

  • the cleric’s name;
  • year of birth and age;
  • year of ordination;
  • year of death (if deceased);
  • prior assignments;
  • current status (permanently removed from ministry, laicized, deceased, etc.); and
  • city and state where he presently resides.

The information to be released is mostly related to reported incidents that occurred between the mid-1950s and 1980s, the archdiocese said, adding that most of the men whose names will be released have been previously identified in media reports. All of the men who will be identified have been permanently removed from ministry or are deceased.

The disclosure is not intended to be final, the archdiocese said. A comprehensive review of clergy files is ongoing, and the list will be updated regularly as additional announcements are made in the future.

The archdiocese has retained Kinsale Management Consulting — founded by Kathleen McChesney, a former high-level official at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and former head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Office of Child and Youth Protection — to conduct a third-party review of its clergy files.

Additionally, an independent Safe Environment and Ministerial Standards Task Force, announced in October, is conducting a full review of the archdiocese’s policies and practices related to clergy sexual misconduct.

The archdiocese said, “This new level of disclosure is part of a comprehensive and cohesive set of actions we have been taking this fall to address the issues associated with clergy sexual misconduct in our archdiocese. These disclosure practices may evolve in the future as we progress with our disclosure, including recommendations that may be made by the independent task force or through the review of our clergy files by an outside firm.”

“Our goals are to protect the young and vulnerable, care for victims of abuse, and restore trust among the laity, as well as our clergy who are serving honorably,” the archdiocese said.

During the court hearing archdiocesan attorney Tom Wieser said Archbishop John Nienstedt “wants the healing to begin.”

“Those who have been victimized by these horrible crimes have been deeply hurt,” the archdiocesan statement said. “It is our hope that disclosure of these names can assist victims in their healing process.”

Category: Local News

Comments are closed.