Priests Who Served Local Parishes Accused of Abuse
By Mandy Moran Froemming
December 5, 2013
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has released a list of former priests which it says have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children since 1950, including two former priests who served at area parishes.
Ramsey County District Court ordered the archdiocese to make the list public in a ruling made by Judge John Van de North Monday. Most of the reported instances of abuse occurred between the mid-1950s and 1980s and all of the men have been permanently removed from ministry.
Named was Michael Stevens, 58, who served as an associate priest at Epiphany Church in Coon Rapids from 1982 to 1988.
In 1987 Stevens pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct charge in Anoka County District Court. At sentencing in January 1988, Stevens was put on probation for five years, fined $1,000 and ordered to undergo residential treatment in New Mexico, with jail time was stayed.
According to a story that appeared in the Coon Rapids Herald, Feb. 12, 1988, prosecutor Robert D. Goodell, assistant Anoka County attorney, said the charge did involve sexual contact. According to the criminal complaint, Stevens touched a 13-year-old boy while they were at an Anoka County motel the previous July on what was described as a “camping trip”.
At the time, communications officials from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said priests admitting to or convicted of sexual misconduct are re-assigned away from the parish ministry on their return from initial treatment and the archdiocese follows up on the initial treatment with an after care program and close monitoring. That after-care program included four years of vocational rehabilitation of the priest in a non-parish setting.
Stevens also served as an associate priest at St. Michael in Prior Lake (1980-1982), was in residence at St. Mark in St. Paul from 1988 to 2003 and in residence at St. Adalbert in St. Paul from 1998 to 2003.
Stevens resigned in 2002, and was permanently removed from ministry.
Also named Thursday is Richard Skluzacek, who served as an associate priest at St. Stephen’s in Anoka in 1966-1967.
Skluzacek was permanently removed from ministry in 2005 and died in 2012 at the age of 80.
He served as an associate priest at St. Stanislaus in St. Paul from 1957 to 1964 and then was the parish administrator until 1966.
After leaving Anoka he served as an associate priest at Most Holy Redeemer in Montgomery, followed by several years as an administrator, including Most Holy Trinity in Veseli in 1974 as well as St. Nicholas in New Market from 1974 to 1978.
Skluzacek was a pastor at Corpus Christi in Roseville (1974-1978), St. Joseph in Hopkins (1978-1990) and a chaplain at the Minneapolis Veterans Medical Center from 1990-1998. He was removed from ministry in 2005.
In a letter, Archbishop John Nienstedt announced new disclosure practices in relation to abuse allegations.
He wrote that it has been the practice of the archdiocese to report all allegations of clergy sexual abuse of minors to law enforcement and “any clergy member facing a credible claim of sexual abuse of minors will be removed from ministry pending an investigation of the claim.”
Nienstedt went on to say that if the claim is credible and can be substantiated, new disclosure practices will require that the claim be disclosed on the archdiocese’s website.
Mandy Moran Froemming is at email@example.com