The landmark clergy abuse settlement announced Monday buoyed hopes for reform in Minnesota’s Catholic church, but it leaves unanswered questions about what comes next for survivors, church finances and future transparency. The settlement was the result of a novel lawsuit against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona from nationally prominent clergy abuse attorney Jeff Anderson.
A Minnesota prosecutor says he won’t file criminal charges in seven cases of alleged sexual misconduct involving eight Catholic priests, but St. Paul police are investigating three other cases. Ramsey County Attorney John Choi says that one of the three still under investigation is likely to lead to prosecution, without giving details.
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.”
A Twin Cities attorney, who’s had success in similar sexual abuse cases, is now involved in the Penn State scandal.