Poor oversight and flawed policies are among the serious shortcomings inside the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis that opened the door "for some priests to harm children," a panel ordered by the archbishop concluded Monday.
None of 12 metro law enforcement agencies contacted by MPR News confirmed that the archdiocese had offered files to review.
The leader of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will be deposed as part of a lawsuit brought by a man who says he was sexually abused by the Rev. Thomas Adamson in the mid-1970s.
The archdiocese included the information about the Rev. Kenneth LaVan and other priests as part of a statement released Monday evening about documents provided to victims' attorneys in advance of a deposition of Nienstedt scheduled for Wednesday.
Daniel Haws, an attorney for the archdiocese, said church officials need more time to review an estimated 60,000 pages of documents before providing them to attorneys representing a man who says he was sexually abused as a child by the Rev. Thomas Adamson in the mid-1970s.
Robert Schumacher will preside over discovery disputes in a lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona by a man who claims that the Rev. Thomas Adamson sexually abused him when he was a boy.
Ramsey County Judge John Van de North ordered church leaders to provide the documents by March 31 to attorneys for a man who said he was abused as a child by the Rev. Thomas Adamson in the mid-1970s. The deadline is two days before his attorneys will question Archbishop John Nienstedt under oath about his handling of abuse claims. Most of the documents will not be sealed.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi has declined to file charges against Archbishop John Nienstedt, who in December was accused of groping a boy several years ago at a public event.
In a three-page order issued Wednesday, Chief Judge Edward Cleary denied requests by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona to block depositions of Nienstedt and former vicar general Kevin McDonough.
Ramsey County Judge John Van de North had ordered the archdiocese to provide the names by Feb. 18. The archdiocese fought the order, arguing it would cause "irreparable harm to the Archdiocese and its clergy," but failed to convince Van de North to change it.
The Twin Cities Archdiocese knew in 2004 that the Rev. Jon Shelley looked for sexual images of minors with Internet search terms such as "free naked boy pictures," according to documents released by St. Paul police.
Six children in a single family have been sexually abused either by the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer or each other. Their mother calls her family's everyday life now a "war zone," bereft of the support the archdiocese once promised. She used to hope some of her sons would become priests. Now she hopes that they survive the effects of the abuse.
The MPR News story published Wednesday said the archdiocese has not disclosed a complete list of clergy accused of child sexual abuse. The story cited police reports, court records and the archdiocese's internal files. In its statement, the archdiocese said that it remains committed to disclosing "substantiated" claims of abuse.
An MPR News investigation found the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has dealt with allegations and suspicions of child sexual abuse involving at least 70 clergy members since 1950 -- nearly double the church's official count.
An MPR News investigation found the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has dealt with allegations and suspicions of child sexual abuse involving at least 70 clergy members since 1950 -- nearly double the church's official count. Explore an interactive database with details of the allegations against those priests, deacons and monks, along with the locations of their service and their current status.