Posts Tagged Minnesota

Attorney: Suit to allege Minnesota bishop threatened retaliation against victim / Star Tribune

“Jeff Anderson said this is the first case of a bishop in the United States being sued for coercion.”

A Twin Cities law firm intends to file a lawsuit against a current Minnesota bishop and a Roman Catholic diocese in the state alleging that a survivor of clergy sex abuse was threatened with retaliation if he revealed how he was assaulted as a child.

“St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson, who for many years has pursued many legal cases in connection with clergy sex abuse in Minnesota and elsewhere, said this is the first time a U.S. bishop has been sued for coercion.

“At a news conference scheduled for Tuesday (May 8) at Anderson’s offices, the abuse survivor and a priest from the diocese will speak publicly for the first time about ‘how the bishop threatened retaliation against the survivor and a family member if he disclosed the sexual abuse,’ a statement from Anderson’s law firm read.”

By Paul Walsh, Minneapolis Star Tribune — Read more …

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More than 800 sex abuse claims filed under Minnesota law / Star Tribune

More than 850 child sex abuse claims, including about 500 against Minnesota Catholic clergy, have been made in the past three years under a landmark Minnesota law sunsetting this week that allowed victims of older abuse cases to have their day in court.

“The Minnesota Child Victims Act, which rocked the Catholic Church to its core, set a May 25, 2016, deadline for filing older claims. Victims’ lawyers are rushing to the finish line, expecting a last-minute surge in claims …

“In the three years since the law’s passage, the local church has witnessed an archbishop’s resignation, two bankruptcies and the public naming of more than 100 priests credibly accused of child sex abuse …

“The speed and scope of the abuse claims underscores the pent-up demand for justice for sexual behavior ‘that has created an enormous cost to the victims, to their families and to society,’ said Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park, the chief Senate author of the law.

Latz said. ‘If [the church] had dealt with the problem up front, [it] never would have been in this position.'”

By Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Catholic archbishop and aide resign in Minnesota over sexual abuse scandal / The New York Times

The Roman Catholic archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis and a deputy bishop resigned on Monday (June 15) after prosecutors recently charged the archdiocese with having failed to protect youths from abuse by pedophile priests.

“In statements released Monday morning, the archbishop, John C. Nienstedt, and an auxiliary bishop, Lee A. Piché, said they were resigning to help the archdiocese heal.

“‘My leadership has unfortunately drawn attention away from the good works of His Church and those who perform them,’ Archbishop Nienstedt said. ‘Thus my decision to step down.’

“The resignations come about 10 days after prosecutors in Minnesota filed criminal charges against the archdiocese for its mishandling of repeated complaints of sexual misconduct against a priest and a few days after the Vatican announced the formation of a tribunal for judging bishops accused of covering up or failing to act on cases of child sexual abuse by priests.”

By the New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Charges against Catholic archdiocese illustrate need for accountability / Voice of the Faithful

Criminal charges against the Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, archdiocese for mishandling sexual abuse complaints once again has civil authorities forcing accountability on the Church.

Catholic Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful has long emphasized the need to hold bishops accountable for such actions. We are saddened that, once again, civil authorities have been required to do what Church hierarchy refuses to do.

Despite more than a decade of clearly defined standards for reporting abuse and avoiding coverups, too many bishops continue to delay or avoid reporting clerical crimes, and too many chancery officials join in such failures or silence those who would report them. The Church will never move forward from this scandal until such practices cease.

We hope that the Minnesota prosecutor’s action might further encourage Pope Francis to follow through on his promises of accountability and to help prevent future abuse.

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Minnesota archdiocese is charged in abuse scandal / The New York Times

Prosecutors in Minnesota filed criminal charges Friday (June 5) against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, accusing church leaders of mishandling repeated complaints of sexual misconduct against a priest and failing to follow through on pledges to protect children and root out pedophile clergymen.

“The charges and accompanying civil petition, announced by the Ramsey County prosecutor, John J. Choi, stem from accusations by three male victims who say that from 2008 to 2010, when they were underage, a local priest, Curtis Wehmeyer, gave them alcohol and drugs before sexually assaulting them.

“The criminal case amounts to a sweeping condemnation of the archdiocese and how its leaders have handled the abuse allegations — even after reforms were put in place by church leaders to increase accountability — and the charges are among the most severe actions taken by US authorities against a Catholic diocese.”

By Mitch Smith, The New York Times, in The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Settlement in lawsuit over priest abuse is revealed / The New York Times

Roman Catholic leaders in Minnesota pledged on Monday (Oct. 13) to enact new procedures to help protect children from sexual abuse by the clergy as they revealed some terms of the settlement for a lawsuit brought last year by a man who had been abused by a priest when he was a teenage altar boy.

“Church officials and lawyers for the victim, known only as John Doe 1, described the settlement as a major step forward in how the church handles and investigates reports of sexual abuse. According to the settlement, if the archdiocese receives a claim of sexual abuse, it must alert law enforcement officials and wait until their investigation is complete before beginning its own.”

By Julie Bosman, The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Files on Winona Diocese clergy who abused children are made public / Star Tribune

Long-sealed records of 14 Catholic priests who worked in four high schools and 45 parishes across southern Minnesota were opened to public scrutiny Tuesday (Oct. 7), revealing hundreds of documents indicating that the Diocese of Winona did not report claims of child sex abuse to law enforcement, did not remove offenders from ministry, and continued to financially support the priests even as the patterns of abuse became clear.”

By Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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