Former Twin Cities archbishop Harry Flynn said at least 134 times that he could not remember how he handled clergy sexual abuse cases during his 13-year tenure, according to a deposition made public today.
The announcement comes amid an internal investigation into whether Don Briel, director and founder of the Center for Catholic Studies, or others at the university knew that an archdiocesan board had recommended that the Rev. Michael Keating, a professor of Catholic Studies, not mentor young adults.
A former top archdiocesan official contradicted Archbishop John Nienstedt's account of how top officials responded to a sexual abuse claim against a Catholic priest, according to sworn testimony made public today.
The Catholic Services Appeal Foundation asked priests in the May 2 letter to boost fundraising at parishes, but said the effort remains on track compared to the same period last year.
For nearly three decades in various roles throughout the archdiocese, the Rev. Kevin McDonough assured parishioners in dozens of interviews and personal conversations that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was a national leader in fighting abuse.
Nienstedt said he had followed a subordinate's advice that he keep no written notes of certain discussions, in case those notes should later become public in legal proceedings. He said that he didn't publicly disclose which priests were being monitored, and that he relied on others to keep parish trustees informed.
Attorney Jeff Anderson, who represents the alleged victim of the Rev. Thomas Adamson, said McDonough answered most questions. However, McDonough refused to respond to questions about his decision not to participate in a St. Paul police investigation into clergy abuse cases, Anderson said.
In November, the Rev. David Barrett went on leave as assistant pastor of St. Wenceslaus in New Prague, Minn., for what the archdiocese described as sexual misconduct not involving minors that took place more than a decade ago.
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.