St. Cloud Diocese Releases List of Clergy Accused of Abuse
By Frank Lee
St. Cloud Times
January 4, 2014
The Diocese of St. Cloud released a list of Central Minnesota clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse Friday amid pressure from a sex abuse survivor and his attorneys.
Bishop Donald Kettler released the names of clergy involved in incidents of “likely claims of sexual abuse of minors,” according to Jane Marrin, communications consultant for the diocese.
“We’ve been working on this for a couple of weeks, so the lawsuit that was filed was done in the middle of compiling this information,” Marrin said.
Abuse survivor Robert Ethen of Sartell and his attorneys, Jeff Anderson and Mike Bryant, spoke at a news conference Thursday in Waite Park.
The list was emailed to local media outlets by the diocese Friday afternoon.
“An investigation was done in each case, in some instances by the civil authorities and in some instances by the church authorities,” she said.
In 2003, the diocese said there were 26 priests who had been accused of sexually molesting minors, but they have remained unnamed. There are 33 names on Friday’s list.
“When I became bishop of the Diocese of St. Cloud, in November 2013, I immediately began connecting with people, familiarizing myself with policies, and reviewing important documents that I am responsible for as bishop,” Kettler said in a statement.
“Part of that process has involved reviewing files regarding claims of sexual abuse of minors by clergy who served in parishes within the Diocese of St. Cloud.”
Kettler spent many years in Alaska dealing with the repercussions of decades-old clergy sexual abuse before his appointment to St. Cloud. He had been a bishop in Fairbanks since 2002.
“I am struck by the courage and strength of the victims of abuse who have come forward. And I am impressed with the pastoral responses of my predecessors. So in mid-December, I decided to release the names of those clergy,” he said in a statement Friday.
“Therefore, I asked my senior staff to make certain I had a complete list of all the clergy who had likely abused minors.”
Anderson praised Kettler for taking what the attorney calls a “very good first step” in righting the wrongs of the Roman Catholic Church.
“We knew they had the list, they knew they were behind the curve, and we knew that this is something they should have done,” Anderson said, “and now that they have done it, I’ll give them credit for taking a step forward.”
Anderson, who has filed several lawsuits representing clergy abuse victims, said he had expected Kettler to release the list.
Twenty-one people on the list are deceased. Several on the list have been named before by other dioceses or by St. John’s Abbey.
The list includes the late Vincent Yzermans, an area historian and author who worked at St. Mary’s Cathedral and the St. Cloud Visitor.
“We’re including the parishes that these men served in,” Marrin said of the list, which includes the names of four people it says reside in Collegeville and four whose status is unknown and one whose address is unknown.
Anderson said at Thursday’s news conference that a civil lawsuit filed this week in Stearns County District Court was an “invitation” for Kettler to “step up and simply do the right thing.”
“I did expect and hoped that he would do just that,” Anderson said of Kettler.
Anderson has sued other dioceses in the state. Lists of names were released in December by the Minneapolis-St. Paul archdiocese, Winona and Duluth dioceses, and by St. John’s Abbey.
“I’ll be looking to get more out of the St. Cloud diocese in the future, but for today, it’s progress,” Anderson said after reviewing the list on Friday.
Kettler said this isn’t the end of the diocese’s work. “It is my intent to continue to provide a pastoral response to such abuse,” he said.
“It is my hope that the release of these names will provide validation to those victims who have been sexually abused and have already come forward. I pray it will also give strength to those who have remained silent and allow them to come forward,” Kettler said.
Names released by The Diocese of St. Cloud
Robert Blumeyer, OSB (Order of Saint Benedict): St. Augustine, St. Cloud; St. Benedict’s, Avon; St. Catherine, Farming. Deceased
Michael Brennan, TOR (Third Order Regular of Saint Francis): Our Lady of the Angels Boarding School, Belle Prairie. Status Unknown
Anthony Canu, TOR: Our Lady of the Angels Boarding School, Belle Prairie. Status Unknown
Cosmos Dalheimer, OSB: St. Mary’s, St. Cloud; St. Benedict’s Monastery and College, St. Joseph; St. Augustine, St. Cloud; St. Joseph, St. Joseph; St. Scholastica Convent, St. Cloud. Deceased
John Eccleston: Sacred Heart, Staples; St. Edward’s, Henning; Ave Maria, Wheaton; Chaplain St. Francis Convent, Little Falls. Deceased
Richard Eckroth, OSB: St. Benedict High School, St. Joseph; St. Augustine, St. Cloud; Seven Dolors, Albany; St. Raphael’s Convent, St. Cloud; St. Scholastica Convent, St. Cloud. Currently residing in Collegeville.
Sylvester Gall: St. Joseph, Pierz; St. Mary’s Cathedral, St. Cloud; Chaplain, St. Raphael, St. Cloud; St. John the Baptist, Swanville; St. Nicholas, Belle River; St. Nicholas, St. Nicholas; St. Andrew, Elk River; St. Michael’s, Motley; St. John Nepomuk, Lastrup. Deceased.
William Garding: St. Mary’s, Melrose; St. Paul’s, Sauk Centre; St. John the Baptist, Bluffton; Holy Cross, Butler; Assumption, Menagha; Director, Cemetary Office, St. Cloud. Deceased
Raoul Gauthier: Chaplain, St. Michael’s Hospital, Sauk Centre. Deceased
Thomas Gillespie, OSB: St. Boniface, Cold Spring; St. Joseph, St. Joseph; St. Raphael’s Convent, St. Cloud; St. Scholastica Convent, St. Cloud; St. Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph. Currently residing in Collegeville.
Stanislaus Goryczka: Holy Cross, Harding (Pulaski); St. Edward’s Elmdale; Our Lady of Lourdes, Little Falls. Deceased
Francis Hoefgen, OSB: St. Bonface, Cold Spring; St. Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph. Laicized. Address unknown
Othmar Hohmann, OSB: Immaculate Conception, New Munich; St. Boniface, Cold Spring; St. Joseph, St. Joseph. Deceased
Raymond Jacques: St. Peter and Paul, Sauk Centre; Assumption, Morris; St. Anne’s, Kimball. Deceased
Val Klimek: St. Mary’s Cathedral, St. Cloud; spiritual director, Cathedral High School; St. Columbkill, St. Wendel; St. Lawrence, Duelm; director, Catholic Charities; Holy Trinity, Royalton; Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Rockville. Deceased
Reginald Krakowski, TOR: Local Superior, St. Louis Monastery, St. Cloud; Cathedral High School. Current Status Unknown
Joseph Kremer: Sacred Heart, Sauk Rapids; Staff, St. John’s Seminary/Diocese of St. Cloud; St. Michael’s, Spring Hill; Holy Spirit, St.Cloud. Deceased
Richard Kujawa: St. Mary’s, Breckenridge; St. Joseph, Bertha; St. Edward’s, Henning; Sacred Heart, Flensburg; St. Mary’s, Melrose; St. Hubert, Blue Grass; Our Lady of the Assumption, Menagha. Deceased
Henry Lutgen: St. Mary’s, Alexandria; Superintendent, St. Cloud Children’s Home; Director, Catholic Charities. Deceased
Brennan Maiers, OSB: St. Joseph, St. Joseph; St. Boniface, Cold Spring; St. Raphael’s Convent, St. Cloud; St. Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph; St. Scholastica Convent, St. Cloud. Currently residing in Collegeville, MN
James Mohm: St. Joseph, Pierz; St. Joseph, Brushvale; St. James, Maine; Immaculate Conception, Osakis. Deceased
Donald Rieder: St. Mary’s, Alexandria; St. James, Randall; St. Anne’s, Kimball; Assumption, Morris; St. Agnes, Roscoe; St. Louis, Paynesville; Chaplain, St. Gabriel’s Hospital, Little Falls; St. Stanislaus, Sobieski; St. John Cantius, St. Cloud. Deceased
Francisco Schulte, OSB: St. Boniface, Cold Spring. Collegeville, MN
Robert Smith: Holy Angels, St. Cloud; Holy Family, Belle Prairie; Our Lady of Victory, Fergus Falls; St. Leonard’s, Pelican Rapids; St. Paul’s, Sauk Centre; Chaplain, Poor Clare Sisters, Sauk Rapids; Holy Cross, North Prairie; St. Stanislaus, Sobieski. Deceased
Peter Snyers: Immaculate Conception, Rice; St. Mary’s, Breckenridge; St. Kathyrn’s, Ogilvie; St. Louis, Foreston; Assumption, Eden Valley; St. Hedwig’s and St. Mary’s, Holdingford; St. John Cantius, St. Cloud. Deceased
Allan Speiser: St. Ann’s, Wadena; Sacred Heart, Sauk Rapids; Holy Angels, St. Cloud; Chaplain, St. Raphael’s, St. Cloud; Cathedral High School, St. Cloud; St. Anthony, St. Anthony; St. Nicholas, St. Nicholas; Immaculate Conception, Becker; St. Francis Xavier, Sartell; St. John Nepomuk, Lake Reno; Our Lady of the Runestone, Kensington; Holy Cross, Butler; St. John the Baptist, Bluffton; Holy Spirit, St. Cloud; St. Francis, St. Francis. Deceased
James Thoennes: St. Anthony’s, St. Cloud; St. Mary’s, Melrose; St. Joseph, Waite Park; St. John’s, Foley; St. Anne’s, Kimball; Sacred Heart, Dent; St. Leonard’s, Pelican Rapids; St. Joseph, Bertha; St. Edward’s. Henning; Chaplain, St. Mary’s Villa, Pierz. Currently residing in St. Cloud, MN
Roger Vaughn, OSC (Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross (Crosiers)) : St. Peter’s, St. Cloud. Currently residing in New York.
Michael Weber: Holy Spirit, St. Cloud as transitional deacon. Currently residing in Twin Cities, MN
William Wey: St. Mary’s Cathedral, St. Cloud; St. Donatus, Brooten; Immaculate Conception, Sedan; St. Gall, Tintah; Sacred Heart, Dent; St. Peter, Dumont; St. Patrick, Collis. Deceased
Adelbert Wolski, TOR: Cathedral High School. Current Status Unknown
Vincent Yzermans: St. Boniface, Melrose; St. Mary’s Cathedral, St. Cloud; St. John the Baptist, Swanville; Editor, Saint Cloud Visitor; St. Nicholas, St. Nicholas; St. Rose, St. Rosa; St. Anthony, St. Anthony. Deceased
Francis Zilkowski: Chancellor, Diocese of Saint Cloud; St. Louis, Foreston; Sacred Heart, Flensburg; Our Lady of Lourdes, Little Falls; Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Opole. Deceased