Statement of Attorney Mike Finnegan on Incomplete Release of Clergy Offender List

Archbishop Nienstedt Putting Kids at Risk by Delaying Release of Names of 33 Priests with Credible Allegations of Sexual Abuse

Archdiocese Has Known the Identities of the Offenders Since at Least 2004

(St. Paul, MN) – Nearly a decade ago, the Archdiocese had in its possession the identities of the names of priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Repeated requests to release these names have gone unanswered and finally, today, Archbishop John Nienstedt says he will release the names of some of these priestS—not all of them—and only with specific conditions. The limited release will only include the names of priests who are alive and living within the confines of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

In an “Open Letter from Archbishop John Nienstedt Regarding Clarence Vavra,” issued today, Nienstedt states “upon receipt and permission of the relevant court” he will disclose the names, locations, and status of these priests.  This is misleading as no court order is needed to release these names. Do it today. Why the delay? Are they giving these offenders more time to move outside the geographic lines of the Archdiocese so they won’t be included on this list?

Archbishop Nienstedt should start protecting children today and release the 33 names the Archdiocese has known about since at least 2004.  For decades this Archdiocese has displayed a pattern and practice of protecting the sexual offender instead of putting the safety of the community and children first. Every day that goes by, every hour that passes, more children are put at risk because of their resistance to take action when a crime has been committed. The ongoing lack of transparency and accountability needs to end. The only way to do this is to release the entire list of 33 names, along with all of the documents on these offenders, and openly encourage other Dioceses in Minnesota, and nationwide, to do the same. Only then will our communities be safe for our children.