The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

February 19, 2014

Report: Church list of alleged abusers too short

(Continued)

Archbishop John Nienstedt, through a spokesman, declined to MPR's interview request, and McDonough did not respond to its interview request. A spokesman for the archdiocese wouldn't explain how abuse claims were vetted for credibility.

Some of the accused on MPR's list remain in ministry. Others are long dead. Several have been included on other lists of "credibly accused" priests from other dioceses or religious orders but their assignments in the archdiocese were kept private.

MPR's Investigation found that at least 21 priests named as suspected child abusers by other dioceses and religious orders had served in the Twin Cities archdiocese. At least four priests have been the subject of lawsuits for alleged child sexual abuse but weren't on the archdiocese's public list. At least 10 of the clerics were criminally investigated, the report said.

MPR said it found only four priests who served or worked in the Twin Cities who were criminally convicted of child sexual abuse. In every other case, the report said, the archdiocese relied on changing, often vague criteria to determine whether allegations were credible, and that it set standards that were difficult for victims to meet.

The archdiocese hired a private consulting firm last year to review its clergy personnel files. On Monday, the archdiocese disclosed nine more names of accused priests.

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