2013 October

Oct 31, 2013: Penn State to Pay Nearly $60 Million to 26 Abuse Victims

Penn State has agreed to pay $59.7 million to 26 sexual abuse victims of the former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky in exchange for an end to their claims against the university, Penn State announced Monday. Of the 26 settlements, 23 are fully signed and three are agreed to in principle, with final documentation expected in the next few weeks. Rodney A. Erickson, the president of the university, called the settlement “another step forward in the healing process for those hurt by Mr. Sandusky, and another step forward for Penn State.” He added, “We cannot undo what has been done,…

Oct 31, 2013: Fearful Today and Every Day in Minnesota

It’s Halloween and you should be scared in Minnesota.  There are dozens of credibly accused clerical offenders of children whose names are only known to the Catholic bishops and kept secret.  You don’t know who they are, and you don’t know where they are.  What we do know is that they could harm our children and that the hierarchs in Minnesota from Duluth to St. Cloud to New Ulm, to Winona and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis know and have already determined the clerical offenders to be “credibly accused” of abuse of minors. But with only the desire to protect…

Oct 29, 2013: Archdiocese Cover Up Highlights Need for ImmediateLaw Enforcement Involvement In Sexual Abuse Cases

Doe 23 courageously filed suit today against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and Father Robert M. Thurner, who allegedly sexually abused Doe 23 in 1984-85 when she was a young girl and student at St. Joseph’s School in West St. Paul. Doe 23 likely would not have had to file this suit – would never have been molested by Thurner  – had the Archdiocese’s hierarchy fulfilled its legal and moral obligations and reported Thurner’s prior admitted sexual abuse of another minor to law enforcement in 1982.The Archdiocese’s cover up of its priests’ sexual abuse of minors and other relat…

Oct 29, 2013: Doe 23 v. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Father Robert M. Thurner

Father Robert M. Thruner On October 29, 2013 a lawsuit was filed on behalf of a woman in her 30s, naming as defendants Fr. Robert Thurner and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The lawsuit claims the Archdiocese was negligent in allowing Father Thurner continued access to children. In 1982, Thurner admitted to then-Archbishop Roach that he had sexually abused a 16 year-old boy and purchased alcohol for the boy. Despite Thurner’s admission, the Archdiocese chose to move Thurner into a new, unsuspecting parish where he subsequently abused Doe 23…

Oct 28, 2013: Press Release: Father Robert M. Thurner Named In Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

Media AdvisoryOctober 28, 2013  St. Paul News Conference Tuesday Father Robert M. Thurner Named In Sexual Abuse Lawsuit  Documents confirm long-standing pattern and practice of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ handling of sexual abuse cases   WHAT:  At a news conference Tuesday in St. Paul, clergy sexual abuse attorneys Jeff Anderson and Mike Finnegan will:    · Announce the filing of a Ramsey County lawsuit naming as defendants Father Robert M. Thurner and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on behalf of a woman now in her 3…

Oct 23, 2013: North St. Paul Pastor Seeks Leadership ‘Do-Over’ in Archdiocese Leadership

The pastor of a large Twin Cities parish has taken the unusual step of publicly questioning whether Archbishop John Nienstedt should continue in his post amid a widening priest sex abuse scandal. The Rev. Bill Deziel, who heads the 6,000-member Church of St. Peter, used his church’s Sunday bulletin to call for a “do-over” of archdiocesan leadership. “When things get this bad,” Deziel wrote to his parishioners, “sometimes a fresh start is needed for all involved.” Such a change, he said, “could get us moving again with all that Christ calls us to do.” Jim Accurso, spokesman for the Archdioces…

Oct 22, 2013: Duluth News Tribune: In response: Catholic officials have again broken promise to be open

Duluth Catholic officials this month announced a priest “has recently been credibly accused” of molesting a girl and was “rather quickly” removed from ministry. Sound too good to be true? It is. Questioned by reporters, Duluth Bishop Paul Sirba admitted he received the abuse report more than a year ago. He admitted it took two months for him to oust the predator. And Duluth’s prosecutor says no one has told him anything about child sex abuse allegations against the priest, Fr. Cornelius Kelleher. Bishop Sirba left out a few facts as well. When the allegation came in, and when it was deemed…

Oct 18, 2013: MPR News: Documents show restrictions on University of St. Thomas priest were ignored

T. PAUL, Minn. — Internal archdiocesan documents obtained by MPR News raise questions about what the University of St. Thomas knew about sexual abuse allegations against a professor in 2006. The documents show top church deputy Kevin McDonough investigated several allegations in 2006 that the Rev. Michael Keating sexually abused women and he planned to communicate his findings to an administrator at the University of St. Thomas. Keating, 57, is an associate professor of Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas and a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He went on te…