Continued Disclosure of Names Part of The Archdiocese’s Comprehensive Approach to Address Clergy Sexual Misconduct
As part of our ongoing commitment to address clergy sexual misconduct, especially for the healing of victims and safety of children, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis today released the names and related information of nine priests against whom claims of sexual abuse of a minor within our archdiocese have been found to be substantiated. Consistent with Archbishop Nienstedt’s previously stated commitment to disclose information regarding clergy against whom there are substantiated claims of sexual abuse of minors, information can be found on our web site in the special section created for this purpose in December 2013.
In all but one case, the incidents occurred 25-50 years ago and all of the clergy involved have been out of ministry in the archdiocese for many years, in most cases for decades. Of the nine men disclosed today, three are known to be deceased.
Two of these nine cases were made known to the archdiocese after the compilation of the John Jay list in 2004, bringing the total number of cases made known to the archdiocese after 2004 to three, including Curtis Wehmeyer, who has already been disclosed by us to the public and widely covered in media reports. Of the three claims made known to the archdiocese after 2004, one relates to incidents that occurred in the 1950’s but that were not made known to the archdiocese until several years after the compilation of the John Jay list.
We are making these disclosures as part of the ongoing review of clergy personnel files conducted by Kinsale Management Consulting at the request of the archdiocese. This file review process, which began in December 2013, initially focused on all living clergy, whether in active ministry or not. It now also includes several priests who are deceased.
Certain clergy members who we have made known to the public through press releases or who have been the subject of media reports over the past many months are not included in this disclosure. They remain under investigation. If claims against them are substantiated, their names will be added to our web site. Similarly, if the claims against them are not substantiated, that too will be made known.
It is a testament to the comprehensive review by the experienced Kinsale team that we are today disclosing seven cases of the nine that were not originally accounted for in the John Jay study in 2004. We were able to identify these additional cases because of the review of the files of all living priests, whether active or inactive, and many of the deceased priests.
With the engagement of the Kinsale team, the archdiocese continues to work on fulfilling the public promises we have made to create safe environments for children, care for victims, facilitate a healing process for our local church in order to restore trust with the Catholic faithful, and restore trust with clergy who are serving honorably. All of our decisions and actions related to clergy misconduct are advanced by these goals.
“The Archbishop’s senior staff is dedicating tremendous time and energy to get to the bottom of the allegations that have surfaced in recent months. Kinsale’s professional expertise and meticulous approach to the clergy file review contributes to giving us confidence we are doing just that,” said Fr. Charles Lachowitzer, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia. “The Catholic faithful want to know we are doing everything we can to resolve these matters. I can say truly that we are.”
The archdiocese will continue to make prudent and ongoing disclosures as we proceed forward. We continue to be humbled by the egregious nature of these crimes against children and pray for forgiveness from victims and their loved ones, along with the hope for healing.