Archdiocese Releases List of Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse
By Mike Durkin
December 5, 2013
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on Thursday released its list of priests with credible claims against them of sexually abusing a minor.
"Below is a list of ordained ministers of the Catholic Church who previously had assignments in the archdiocese, and who have had credible claims against them of sexually abusing a minor in our archdiocese. All of these claims have been substantiated, which means that there is reasonable grounds to believe that the reported abuse occurred. Most of the reported incidents of abuse occurred between the mid-1950s and the 1980s, and most of these men have been previously identified in media reports. All of these men have been permanently removed from ministry, and most of them have been out of ministry for a decade or more.
"Clergy who have committed acts of sexual abuse have caused insufferable harm to victims, families, parishioners, and the Church. We grieve and pray for all who have been harmed and are committed completely to combating acts of sexual abuse and doing all we can to ensure that these horrors are never repeated in the Church."
Priests with credible claims against them of sexual abuse of a minor
Thomas Adamson - Permanently removed from ministry from our archdiocese in 1985.
John Brown - Permanently removed from ministry in 2002.
Cosmas Dahlheimer - Permanently removed from ministry (date unknown, died in 2004).
Gilbert DeSutter - Permanently removed from ministry in 2003.
Gilbert Gustafson - Permanently removed from ministry in 2002.
Louis Heitzer - Permanently removed from ministry in 1969 (died in 1969).
Rudolph Henrich - Permanently removed from ministry in 1976 (died in 1992).
Francis Hoefgen - Permanently removed from ministry in 2002.
Richard Jeub - Permanently removed from ministry in 2002.
Dennis Kampa - Permanently removed from ministry in 2003.
Robert Kapoun - Permanently removed from ministry in 2002.
Jerome Kern - Permanently removed from ministry in 2002.
Lee Krautkremer - Permanently removed from ministry in 2002.
Ronan Charles Liles - Permanently removed from ministry in 1985 (believed to have died sometime before 2006).
Alfred Longley - Permanently removed from ministry in 1968 (died in 1974).
Brennan Maiers - Permanently removed from ministry in 2002.
Timothy McCarthy - Permanently removed from ministry in 1991.
John McGrath - Permanently removed from ministry in 1995 (died in 1995).
Paul Palmitessa - Permanently removed from ministry in 2012.
Joseph Pinkosh - Permanently removed from ministry in 1992.
Francis Reynolds - Permanently removed from ministry in 1987 (died in 1988).
Richard Skluzacek - Permanently removed from ministry in 2005 (died in 2012).
Michael Stevens - Permanently removed from ministry in 2002.
Thomas Stitts - Permanently removed from ministry in 1985 (died in 1985).
Robert Thurner - Permanently removed from ministry in 2002.
Clarence Vavra - Permanently removed from ministry in 2003.
Joseph Wajda - Permanently removed from ministry in 2003.
Raymond Walter - Permanently removed from ministry in 2003.
Curtis Wehmeyer - Permanently removed from ministry in 2012.
Robert Zasacki - Permanently removed from ministry in 2002 (died in 2008).
Clergy included on list with unsubstantiated claims
Eugene Corica - No longer in ministry as of 1995.
Robert Loftus - No longer in ministry as of 1977.
Patrick Ryan - No longer in ministry as of 1965 (died in 1965).
Roger Vaughn - Permanently removed from ministry in 2000.
92 OF 188 PARISHES AFFECTED
Nearly half of metro parishes, 92 of 188, were given advance notice that at least one of the men associated with the sex abuse scandal was assigned to their church.
The Diocese of Winona must also release a list of 13 accused priests by Dec. 17, and the Diocese of Crookston, New Ulm, Duluth and St. Cloud also has a list that could soon come out.
MAP: Locations of Accused Priests
"Today our communities are safer, survivors know that they are not alone, and law enforcement will have more information about the crimes committed within this archdiocese," attorney Jeff Anderson said in a statement. "We applaud each and every courageous survivor who has broken the silence and fought for this day."
VICTIMS URGE OTHERS TO COME FORWARD
Clergy sex abuse victims say now that the names are released, a more critical question is emerging -- who is responsible for the coverup? Now that the public can see what has been kept secret for years, they're urging other victims to come forward.
"People will know who these people are," James Heutmaker said.
Father Jerome Kern molested Heutmaker in 1966. He was just 13 at the time, and the Archdiocese passed Kern off to another parish. However, 12 years later, Al Michaud would become another victim at age 15.
"If they only did the right thing when it happened, we wouldn't be here," Michaud said.
Minnesota lawmakers recently passed a 3-year exemption to the statute of limitations to allow victims of child sex abuse to bring their cases forward for prosecution.
"These disclosures are not intended to be final," said Archbishop John Nienstedt. "We are currently engaged in a comprehensive review of clergy files and the list will be update as additional announcements are made."
Nienstedt: Disclosure moves us forward on a path toward healing
"I must say once again to all victims of this abuse: I am so sorry for the pain you have endured. You have been on my mind and in my heart as I offer my daily prayers for you."
NEW DISCLOSURE POLICY
It has been a policy of the archdiocese "to report promptly to law enforcement all allegations of clergy sexual abuse of minors." Nienstedt said any clergy member facing a credible claim of sexual abuse of minors will be removed from ministry pending an investigation of the claim. If the claim is credible and can be substantiated, the new disclosure practices will require that claim to be disclosed on the archdiocese website.
4 REASONS THE LIST WAS RELEASED
Archbishop Nienstedt highlighted four reasons why he believes the disclosure of names is important:
- "Those who have been victimized by these horrible crimes have been deeply hurt. Disclosure of the names of those with substantiated claims of abuse can assist victims in their healing process."
- "The Church must be open and transparent about clergy members' sexual abuse of children in order to foster the process of healing and restoration of trust."
- "Offending clergy members, even if they have been dismissed from the clerical state (laicized) and are no longer under the authority of the archdiocese, could pose an ongoing risk to children. Therefore, a comprehensive disclosure of their names, status and location may assist in reducing that risk."
- "Not only must the archdiocese honor its commitment to protect children, we must also be mindful of the due process concerns of those whose innocence or guilt has not been established. There must be justice and due consideration of the rights and dignity of every human person as we seek the truth. This is not only the bedrock of our beliefs as Catholics, but also of the justice system of our country."