Judge Orders Archbishop to Testify about Clergy Sex Abuse Allegations

ABC5: A Ramsey County judge ruled Tuesday that key leaders in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis will have to answer for their alleged actions for the first time ever, according to KSTP reporter Beth McDonough.

Archbishop John Nienstedt and Father Kevin McDonough will have to go on the record and talk with investigators about how the church handled sex abuse allegations made against priests in local parishes.

The transcript of the depositions of Archbishop Nienstedt and Father McDonough will be sealed.

The judge also ruled the diocese must release the list of priests accused of sex crimes that happened after 2004, to the court and victim’s attorneys by Feb. 18.

It will be sealed, but can be unsealed by the court.

The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis released a written statement that reads in part:

“The archdiocese looks forward to working with the Court and all affected parties to promote the protection of children, the healing of victims and the restoration of trust of the faithful and our clergy who are serving our communities nobly and with honor. At the same time, we strongly assert our pursuit of justice for any who are falsely accused. All of these goals are the basis for every action and decision we are making regarding this ongoing disclosure.”

Frank Meuers of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, released a written statement that reads in part, “We’re grateful that a judge today ordered St. Paul Catholic officials to be deposed and turn over records about clerics who commit or conceal heinous crimes against kids. The need for more disclosure by church figures has been clear for years. Many rightly believe that church officials have not, and are not, being held accountable for irresponsible deeds and crimes that other officials in other organizations would be.”

Meanwhile, there will be another push for the Diocese of Duluth and the Diocese of New Ulm to release their list of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse.

A civil lawsuit being filed Wednesday says the list names 29 priests. The suit is being filed on behalf of a victim who claims he was sexually abused by a priest assigned to the Diocese of New Ulm.

The lawsuit claims that priest has multiple abuse allegations against him.