Former Area Priests Named on Archdiocese's Sex Abuse List
By Lori Carlson
Shakopee Valley News
December 5, 2013
|Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis|
Former Catholic priests at churches in Prior Lake, Spring Lake, Cedar Lake, New Prague and Shakopee are among those named on a list of clergy accused of sexually abusing minors.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on Thursday released the list of 29 priests with credible claims against them.
The archdiocese and Archbishop John Nienstedt have come under fire in recent months for their handling of sexual misconduct cases. Included in the list are clergy members from other dioceses or religious orders who at one time worked in the archdiocese and were accused of engaging in sexual abuse of minors.
According to the archdiocese, there is "reliable and sufficient information" to substantiate the sexual abuse claims against the men on the list.
In a statement on the archdiocese's website, Nienstedt wrote: "My staff and I are completely committed to combating the problem of sexual abuse and doing all we can to ensure that these horrors are never repeated in the church. To that end, as I have been communicating to you over the last two months, we are evaluating and improving our policies and practices in our concerted effort to protect children and prevent sexual abuse."
Those on the list who previously served at area churches are:
Gilbert DeSutter, who was pastor at the Church of St. Michael in Prior Lake from 1983 to 1993. He resigned with limited ministry from 1993 to 2003 and was permanently removed from ministry in 2003 for allegations of sexual abuse. DeSutter, ordained in 1964, also served at churches in St. Paul, Minneapolis, Richfield, Faribault and Fridley. He now lives in Arizona.
Robert Thurner, Church of St. Michael in Prior Lake pastor from 1967 to 1970. Now living in Maplewood, he was permanently removed from ministry in 2002, having also served at churches in St. Louis Park, St. Paul, Hopkins, West St. Paul and Bloomington.
Michael Stevens, who served as associate priest at the Church of St. Michael in Prior Lake from 1980 to 1982. He was permanently removed from ministry in 2002 and is believed to be living in St. Paul. He previously served at churches in Coon Rapids and St. Paul.
Robert Kapoun, pastor at the Church of St. Patrick in Cedar Lake from 1977 to 1984 and administrator at the Church of St. Catherine in Spring Lake during that same time period. He resigned in 1996, retired in 1998 and was permanently removed from ministry in 2002. He also had served at churches in Montgomery, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Crystal, Heidelberg, Lexington and St. Thomas.
Joseph Pinkosh, associate priest at the Church of St. Wenceslaus in New Prague from 1972 to 1974. He was permanently removed from ministry in 1992 and now lives in Columbia Heights. He also had served at churches in Hopkins, Minneapolis and Shieldsville, Minn.
Clarence Vavra, associate priest at the Church of St. Wenceslaus in New Prague in 1979. He was permanently removed from ministry in 2003 and now lives in New Prague. His previous churches include those in Roseville, North St. Paul, Maplewood, Hastings, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rush City, North Branch, Centerville, New Market, Montgomery and Shieldsville.
Rudolph Henrich, associate priest at the Church of St. Mark in Shakopee in 1938. He was permanently removed from ministry in 1976 and died in 1992. Previous churches included those in St. Paul, Winsted, New Ulm and Minneapolis. He also served as chaplain in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Armed Forces and was chaplain at the State Training School for Boys in Red Wing from the 1930s to 1950s.