Statement Regarding Cosmas Dahlheimer

From Bishop Andrew Cozzens, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

Today, the archdiocese was named in a lawsuit along with St. John’s Abbey and the Diocese of St. Cloud. The suit claims that the late Cosmas Dahlheimer, a Benedictine religious order priest, sexually abused a minor in the mid-1970s while Dahlheimer was assigned at St. Bernard parish in St. Paul.

As has been reported in the media since 2002, Dahlheimer has been accused of abusing minors in the Diocese of Saint Cloud and the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. St John’s Abbey placed restrictions on Dahlheimer in 2002. Dahlheimer died in 2004.

The archdiocese acknowledges the devastating damage inflicted on the young and vulnerable through clergy sexual abuse. We have taken and will continue to take steps to strengthen our systems and procedures to protect children and youth, hold abusers accountable and help victims/survivors heal. I and all other leadership at the archdiocese urge anyone who has suffered abuse to contact law enforcement or child protection. The archdiocese is committed to offering help and healing to anyone who has been a victim of sexual misconduct in Church ministry. I ask forgiveness for the harm done to victims/survivors, their families and their communities. I am sorry for the pain they have suffered.

In the interest of disclosure and accountability, the archdiocese posted disclosure information about Dahlheimer on its website in December 2013.