Alarming Arrest of Hibbing Priest for Child Sexual Abuse

We are deeply troubled to learn of the arrest of a priest in the Diocese of Duluth, Fr. Brian M. Lederer, Hibbing, Minn., on expected charges of sexual abuse of children.  The sexual abuse of children among clergy is a real and present danger.  Although the Catholic Church may argue that the scourge of clerical childhood sexual abuse is a thing of the past, the arrest of Lederer and more recent cases such as Curtis Wehmeyer in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Shawn Ratigan in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph tell us otherwise.  If the past is prologue, we must act vigilantly and vigorously to protect our children in our churches, schools and communities by demanding large scale changes and transparency within the Catholic hierarchy that will keep kids safe.  The question remains, what did the Diocese of Duluth know of Fr. Lederer’s dangerous tendencies with children before it ordained him and while he was working with children in the Diocese?  We are thankful to the courageous survivor or survivors of Fr. Lederer who spoke the truth so that kids will be better protected.