2015 June

Jun 30, 2015: Court Rules That Survivor’s Public Nuisance Claim Against Diocese of St. Cloud May Proceed

(St. Cloud, MN) – Stearns County District Court Judge Kris Davick-Halfen ruled that a clergy sexual abuse survivor’s public nuisance claim against the Diocese of St. Cloud can proceed. Judge Davick-Halfen’s June 22, 2015, order will help hold the Diocese of St. Cloud accountable for protecting pedophile priests in the past and will help keep children safe in the future. A similar decision in 2013

Jun 29, 2015: Sexual Abuse Survivors Request the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Play Outreach Video in All Parishes

(St. Paul, MN) – The creditors’ committee in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis bankruptcy case filed a motion in federal bankruptcy court today requesting the Archdiocese play an outreach video in all 216 of its parishes. It is the first time ever in a diocesan bankruptcy that survivors/creditors have made this request. Newly appointed apostolic administrator Bernard Hebda now has an opportunity to demonstrate the Archdiocese’s commitment to helping survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

Jun 22, 2015: How Many?

One of the most common questions we are asked in child protection is how many minors does a child molester sexually abuse in their lifetime?
In the case of Norbertine Father Reverend Brendan Smyth O. Praem, we have a glimpse into the mind, methods and devastating results from a Priest who was allowed by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy to decimate children in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the United States.
 “Mr. Aiken said that Smyth was convicted of 117 cases of indecent assault against 41 children in the North and South. There were 74 convictions against …

Jun 15, 2015: Catholic Archbishop and Aide Resign in Minnesota Over Sexual Abuse Scandal

The Roman Catholic archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis and a deputy bishop resigned on Monday 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 day…

Jun 15, 2015: Resignation of Archbishop Nienstedt: A step in the right direction and a time for reckoning

(St. Paul, MN) – The resignations of Archbishop Nienstedt and Bishop Piché and acceptance of them by the Vatican signals an important step in the necessary reckoning in the child abuse crisis.  It is equally important to note that the resignation of one or two men from high positions does not in any way signal the end to the crisis or deal with the scope of the problem. It does signal that finally there is a small measure of reckoning under pressure.  That pressure has been brought because of the courage of the survivors and the Minnesota Legislature.  It is the opening of the…

Jun 05, 2015: Jeff Anderson Statement Praising Actions of Ramsey County Attorney in Charging Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

(St. Paul, MN) – The charges filed by the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office and John Choi today deserve high praise.  The complaint is against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and it demonstrates and recites the problem to be a systemic one, a corporate one, by the top officials, by the Archdiocese, spanning years. It names 10 officials engaged in a pattern of conduct and alleges serious violations of law about which we have been concerned and addressing for years.  I have, in the past, been openly critical of the seeming inaction by the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office and J…

Jun 05, 2015: Why has Bishop Sirba Quietly Placed Duluth’s Chancellor on Leave During Father Lederer Investigation?

It appears that its ‘business as usual’ for Bishop Paul Sirba in the Diocese of Duluth these days and we are deeply concerned about the all-too-familiar circumstances playing out there. As has been widely reported, Father Brian Lederer of Blessed Sacrament in Hibbing was arrested on May 5th and charged with the sexual assault of multiple young girls at his parish school. Father Lederer is a pastor at Blessed Sacrament who was also a teacher there at one point. Then, in the face of an ongoing criminal investigation, Bishop Paul Sirba made the decision to place the Diocese’s Chancellor, Judicial…