A judge has denied the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ appeal in a clergy sexual abuse case. The decision Wednesday clears the way for attorneys representing an alleged victim to interview Archbishop John Nienstedt and former vicar general Kevin McDonough.
A judge has denied an attempt by lawyers for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to block a court order requiring the archbishop to testify about how the church handled clergy sexual abuse and release the names of all local priests accused of abusing children since 2004.
A teenage boy who was molested by the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer from 2008 through 2011 sued the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on Thursday, alleging it conspired to protect the priest from criminal prosecution and conceal his history of sexual misconduct from the public. The lawsuit comes one day after Ramsey County prosecutors said they wouldn’t charge members of the archdiocese for the way they handled allegations against Wehmeyer because there was insufficient evidence to prove anyone failed to immediately report the abuse. Wehmeyer pleaded guilty in 2012 and is serving a five-year prison sentence.
Ramsey County authorities will not be charging the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for its handling of the case of a priest who was later convicted of sexually abusing two children.
The Diocese of Duluth has released the names of 17 priests whom it says were credibly accused of sexual abuse. A Duluth News Tribune report says 14 have died. All 17 were removed from the church, are under investigation or were dead when the accusations arose.
Former priest Tom Esch believes it was a courageous move for Archbishop John Nienstedt to apologize to parishioners at Our Lady of Grace church last weekend.
Twin Cities Catholics are anxious to hear from Archbishop John Nienstedt. “I am curious to hear what he has to say, absolutely,” said parishioner Maria Medina DeSmith. Nienstedt is expected to make a public apology Sunday surrounding the priest abuse scandal that is rocking the local Catholic Church. It will be part of the homily given at Our Lady of Grace Church in Edina. “I think that’s good, healthy,” parishioner Mark Photoidaes said. “I think it’s important to acknowledge the situation and, he’s doing the right thing.”
Two Boston College students studying in Rome had an up-close encounter with Pope Francis and came away with a treasured souvenir. Katie Rich of Minnetonka, Minn., and Ethan Mack of Portland, Maine, were along the barricade for an audience with Pope Francis on Wednesday.
The Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul announced a list of 34 priests credibly accused of sexual abuse earlier this week. Critics said more names should have been on that list, that the Archdiocese was forced to release the names and that without a court order they would not have done so.
Advocates for victims of sexual abuse by clergy said Friday they will continue to push for more information about priests who have been accused of molesting children, and they hope the recent disclosure of a list of accused priests in the Twin Cities archdiocese will lead to similar ones being produced around the state.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis says it’s prepared to release names of 30 priests accused of sexually abusing minors if it gets a court order. The names include 29 priests on a 2004 list of priests deemed to have been credibly accused of abuse, plus one who had a substantiated claim leveled against him later.
A Minnesota man who claims he was sexually abused by a priest from 1989 through 1992 sued the Twin Cities archdiocese, St. John’s Abbey and a center that treats clergy with psychological issues on Tuesday.
Dozens of members of the Catholic Church are calling for a change in local leadership. Nearly 100 people gathered outside the St. Paul Cathedral on Saturday, calling for Archbishop John Nienstedt’s resignation. They’re angry about past accusations of sexual abuse by clergy members that became public within the last few weeks. Eric Fought of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform says he’s looking for renewed faith in church leadership.“It’s up to us as the laity to step forward and say ‘enough is enough,’” Fought said.
The retired Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Harry Flynn, has resigned as chair of the University of St. Thomas Board of Trustees, the school announced Saturday, becoming the second leader to quit the board of the Roman Catholic school this month amid fresh criticism of their handling of clergy sexual misconduct cases. In a statement Saturday, the school said the board accepted Flynn’s retirement as chair and board member at its regular meeting Thursday. The statement also confirmed the board’s vice chair, the Rev. Kevin McDonough, a former vicar general of the archdiocese, resigned from the board Oct. 4. The statement did not give reasons for Flynn’s or McDonough’s resignation, and university spokesman Doug Hennes declined to comment.