Roman Catholic Diocese Settled Three Lawsuits

Bismarck Tribune
January 1, 1995

FARGO (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese here has settled three lawsuits brought by men who said they were sexually abused by a former priest. The three said the abuse took place while the Rev. David Wild served as pastor of St. Bernard Church in Oriska, during the early 1960s. Wild was removed as pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church in West Fargo in May 1992 after the first of the three men made an accusation. Wild resigned three months later. The diocese publicly disclosed the accusation and invited anyone who had been harmed to come forward. Lawsuits eventually were brought against the diocese by men from Barnes County, Minneapolis and Idaho. The three lawsuits were settled Dec. 21, said the Rev. Wendelyn Vetter, vicar general of the Fargo diocese. Although the settlements were confidential, attorneys for the diocese and the plaintiffs agreed they were fair. The diocese has also paid counseling expenses for the men involved. Bishop James Sullivan said the settlement of the cases would help the victims find healing. He said if the cases had gone to trial, their outcome would have been uncertain. ""What is certain is that the trials would have hurt the young men and their families and all of the priests and people of North Dakota,'' Sullivan said in a statement.


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