2014 February

Feb 26, 2014: Local Priest May Have Abused 50 Children

ST. PAUL, Minn. – He liked to be called “Father Jerry”.By his own account, Gerald Funcheon of the Catholic Order of the Holy Cross – the Croisers – started abusing young boys in the 1970’s here in the Twin Cities.”I suspect, and I don’t remember, it would have been at it St. Odilia’s,” he testified in a 2012 deposition.”The guy was a wolf,” according to David Bidney, one of kids who says he was abused starting when he was just 10. “They hurt me bad. And they hurt a lot of kids bad.”In addition to St. Odilia’s in Shoreview, Father Jerry served in parishes and schools in Anoka, Onamia, and St. C…

Feb 23, 2014: Abusive Priest Gets Disability, Support From Twin Cities Archdiocese

After the Rev. Gil Gustafson was convicted of child sex abuse 30 years ago, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis made sure he was financially secure for decades to come.The church continued his priestly salary and health insurance, covered his living expenses and psychological treatment and paid for his education and training, according to church records and a former archdiocese accountant. It has given him jobs in the chancery, helped him establish his own consulting business and steered clients his way.

Feb 23, 2014: Abusive Priest Gets Disability Support From Archdiocese

After the Rev. Gil Gustafson was convicted of child sex abuse 30 years ago, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis made sure he was financially secure for decades to come.The church continued his priestly salary and health insurance, covered his living expenses and psychological treatment and paid for his education and training, according to church records and a former archdiocese accountant. It has given him jobs in the chancery, helped him establish his own consulting business and steered clients his way.

Feb 19, 2014: L.A. Archdiocese Settles Final Priest Abuse Case For $13 million

The Los Angeles Archdiocese has settled what officials said is the last of its pending priest molestation lawsuits, bring to a close a decade of wrenching abuse litigation that cost the Catholic Church more than $740 million.The church reached the $13-million agreement with 17 victims last week, on the eve of a trial scheduled to begin Feb. 14 over the alleged acts of Father Nicolas Aguilar-Rivera, a visiting cleric from Mexico who police believe molested more than two dozen boys over nine months in 1987.Eleven men, who were ages 7 to 12 when they were allegedly abused by the priest, were sche…

Feb 18, 2014: VanHecke Arrest and Admission Shows Child Protection Doesn’t Stop with Background Checks

With the arrest of Chaska’s World Learner’s School substitute teacher Matthew VanHecke in December, 2013 and his subsequent admission to “touching three juvenile girls” at the school where he worked in 2012 and 2013, it is imperative that lessons be learned from these horrific events.Schools and other institutions that provide services to children must understand that conducting a background check on a potential employee does not relieve them of their responsibilities associated with ensuring the safety of children under their care. According to officials from two of his employers, District…

Feb 16, 2014: News Release: Judge Denies Motion to Stay Discovery and Archbishop Nienstedt’s Deposition

News ReleaseFebruary 16, 2014 Judge Denies Archdiocese’s and Diocese’s Motion to Stay Discovery and Depositions of Archbishop Nienstedt and Fr. Kevin McDonough (St. Paul, MN) – Ramsey County Judge John Van de North denied a request today from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona to stay discovery in a civil lawsuit and delay the release of names of priests who have been accused of sexual abuse since 2004. Also, the depositions of Archbishop John Nienstedt and former Vicar General Kevin McDonough will proceed in the civil lawsuit filed on beh…

Feb 13, 2014: Lawsuit claims sexual abuse by member of Diocese of Duluth

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)– A lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Ramsay County against the Diocese of Duluth on behalf of a man who claims he was sexually abused by a priest who had worked in the Diocese for more than two decades.The lawsuit claims the man was the victim of repeated sexual abuse in 1976 when he was 13 years old and serving as an altar boy.The claim says he was abused by Father Vincent Fitzgerald who has since died.The abuse is alleged to have started at St Thomas More, a parish in the Diocese of New Ulm, which is also named in the lawsuit.The lawsuit claims the sexual abuse continue…