Source notes | About the reporting
Minnesota Public Radio
July 21, 2014
|Basilica of St. Mary, Minneapolis|
|Basilica of St. Mary, Minneapolis |
|Attorney Anthony Fontana|
|St. Louis King of France Church, St. Paul |
A week ago, MPR News broadcast a radio documentary as part of its investigation of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The story showed how church leaders over decades protected many priests accused of sexually abusing children and it revealed a pattern of choices supported by a culture that put the needs of the church ahead of the needs of its people.
Today's four-chapter story builds on the radio documentary to present a closer look. Both reports relied on dozens of interviews, hundreds of thousands of never-before-published documents, and the account of a whistleblower with unprecedented access to the church's secrets. Many source citations are listed below.
MPR News published its first investigative report in September 2013. The fallout was immediate. The vicar general resigned within days. Police launched criminal investigations. Catholics held protests, the archbishop suspended his public appearances and an important fundraising campaign eventually was canceled.
The scandal grew as MPR News reported more revelations: that the archdiocese had kept accused priests in ministry, failed to call police, ignored Vatican rules, and given special payments to priests who had admitted privately to abusing children. Since the radio documentary aired last week, calls for the resignation of Archbishop John Nienstedt have increased among Twin Cities Catholics and the story has gained more national attention.
— Chris Worthington, MPR News managing director
This story was reported by Madeleine Baran with help from Sasha Aslanian, Meg Martin, Tom Scheck and Laura Yuen.
The digital story was edited by Eric Ringham. It was produced by Meg Martin with Will Lager and Molly Bloom. Primary photographers were Jennifer Simonson and Jeffrey Thompson. Regina McCombs was the visuals editor.
The radio documentary was produced by Sasha Aslanian, with assistance from Manda Lillie. It was edited by Mike Edgerly and mixed by Erik Stromstad and Rob Byers.
The project's editor is Chris Worthington.
Chapter One: Sources and notes
· Read Chapter One: It all began in Lafayette ·
General information on the Rev. Gilbert Gauthe's sexual abuse:
• Sept. 1, 1983, internal memo for insurers, later filed in court as part of the Lafayette diocese's lawsuit against its insurers
• Petition for damages, filed on June 27, 1984, by attorney Minos Simon, on behalf of the Gastal family
"Gauthe remained in ministry even when his bishop learned that he had abused one boy and licked the faces of two others" while serving as a priest:
• Transcript of a Jan. 18, 1985, deposition of Bishop Gerard Frey
• Transcript of a Jan. 26, 1988, deposition of Frey, in which an attorney asks, "When is the first time that you learned that Gilbert Gauthe had a problem molesting boys?" and Frey replies, "I would say sometime in 1974."
• Transcript of a March 7, 1995, deposition of Monsignor Richard Mouton, who described how he informed the diocese of allegations against Gauthe
For the information about Wayne Sagrera alerting the Diocese of Lafayette in 1983 that Gauthe had abused his sons:
• Transcript of a Jan. 18, 1985 deposition of top deputy Monsignor Alexandre Larroque
The bishop's decision to send Gauthe away for psychological treatment:
• Sept. 1, 1983, internal memo for insurers, later filed in court as part of the Lafayette diocese's lawsuit against its insurers.
The Lafayette diocese's decision to offer confidential settlements of more than $4 million to nine families:
• Transcript of a Jan. 26, 1988, deposition of top deputy Monsignor Alexandre Larroque.
• Petition for Declaratory Judgment, filed in January 1988 by the Dioceses of Lafayette and Lake Charles, as part of an insurance lawsuit.
The Rev. Gilbert Gauthe's abuse of Scott Gastal and the lawsuit filed by the Gastal family:
• Clinical summary from a June 1984 psychological evaluation of Scott Gastal. "The Tragedy of Gilbert Gauthe," by Jason Berry
• Lawsuit filed by attorney Minos Simon on behalf of the Gastal family. "Law in the Cajun Nation," by Minos Simon, published in 1993, p. 152
Gauthe's admission to a psychologist that he had abused more than 300 children
• Handwritten clinical notes, filed in court as part of the diocese's insurance lawsuit
Rev. Thomas Doyle's involvement in the Gauthe scandal, and the appointment of the Rev. Harry Flynn as bishop of Lafayette:
• MPR News interview of Doyle on March 26, 2014
The effort by Doyle, attorney Ray Mouton and clinician Michael Peterson to warn the Catholic Church in 1985 of the looming clergy sexual abuse crisis:
• "The Problem of Sexual Molestation by Roman Catholic Clergy," by Thomas Doyle, Ray Mouton and Michael Peterson, 1985
Flynn's appointment as bishop, including the anecdote about the state trooper:
• "To Work for the Whole People: John Ireland's Seminary in St. Paul," by Mary Christine Athans, p. 360
• "Full of Grace: An Oral Biography of John Cardinal O'Connor," by Terry Golway, p. 107-109
• "The diocese gets a winner!" May 7, 1986 report in the Acadiana Catholic, the Lafayette diocese's official newspaper
• "I Promise You My Life," by Jason Berry, Times of Acadiana, July 2, 1986
• Interview of Flynn, published in the Catholic Spirit – the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis – on June 26, 2003
• Catholic Bulletin, Feb. 24, 1994
• "To Work for the Whole People: John Ireland's Seminary in St. Paul," by Mary Christine Athans, p. 360
Flynn's participation in a national bishops' committee on clergy sexual abuse in the early 1990s:
• Flynn's chapter in Restoring Trust, a report published by the committee in Nov. 1994
Flynn's 2003 keynote speech at a national conference on clergy sexual abuse:
• Video of speech. Transcript published in "Trusting the Clergy: The Churches and the Communities Come to Grips with Sexual Misconduct"
Anecdote of Flynn being "spit on, thrown in the mud" for his efforts to reach out to victims in the Lafayette diocese: "Beyond the Scandals:
• For Local Catholics Trust is Shaken, but Faith is Sturdy," by Peggy Burch, Memphis Commercial Appeal, Oct. 19, 2002
Star Tribune editorial praising Archbishop Harry Flynn's role in addressing the national clergy sexual abuse scandal in 2002:
• "Mea Maxima Culpa"
Accusations against the Rev. Gilbert Dutel, of the Lafayette diocese, and Flynn's decision to keep Dutel in ministry:
• MPR News interview of attorney Anthony Fontana at his office in Abbeville, La., on April 28, 2014. Fontana described how he reported the allegations to Flynn.
• Sworn affidavit signed by Fontana on May 4, 1995, in which he says, "In 1987, certain allegations of sexual misconduct of Father Gilbert Dutel came to my attention. I met with Bishop Flynn, and discussed the problem with him. Father Dutel was not suspended, and was merely reassigned to a new parish. When I complained to Bishop Flynn about the failure to remove Father Dutel and the need to protect parishioners from him, Bishop Flynn justified his action on the basis of the drastic shortage of priests that the Diocese was facing and the fact that he was told that Father Dutel was cured."
Child sexual abuse allegations against Dutel:
• Statement of the alleged victim, taken June 15, 1992, filed in court as part of the Lafayette diocese's lawsuit against its insurers and its insurance broker
For the decision to name a playground after Dutel:
• The Great Scott Herald newsletter, published Nov. 2010
Lawsuit filed by the Lafayette diocese against its insurers and its insurance broker, including the decision to seal the files:
• Court records, retrieved from a federal archive in Texas and reviewed at a courthouse in Shreveport, La., in April 2014. Docket report.
Lafayette diocese's victory in the lawsuit:
• Final Judgment, filed Aug. 29, 1995, by U.S. District Court Judge Donald E. Walter
Insurance agency's accusations of a church abuse cover-up:
• Memorandum in support of motion for reconsideration of new trial, filed by attorneys for Arthur Gallagher and Company on Sept. 14, 1995, in U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette-Opelousas Division ("This Diocese does not deserve to be rewarded for its deceit, and the harm caused by that deceit and the criminal acts of its priests." )
• Arthur J. Gallagher's memorandum in support of motion for summary judgment on issues relating to causation, foreseeability, the existence of an ex contractu obligation, prescription and reasonable reliance, filed by attorneys for Arthur J. Gallagher and Company on May 5, 1995, in U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette-Opelousas Division, in which it argues, "Unbeknownst to Gallagher, the Diocese was a ticking time bomb."
• Memorandum in support of motion for reconsideration of new trial, filed by attorneys for Arthur Gallagher & Co. on Sept. 14, 1995, in U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette-Opelousas Division, in which it claims that the Lafayette diocese was "ground zero when it comes to pedophilia" and "incredibly," most of the men who orchestrated the cover-up "are still in positions of leadership."
Account of Sister Bartholomew DeRouen's efforts to reach out to clergy sexual abuse victims in the Diocese of Lafayette:
Chapter Two: Sources and notes
• MPR News phone interview of DeRouen on May 15, 2014
• Transcript of a Jan. 26, 1988, deposition of Lafayette bishop Gerard Frey, in which Frey said, "I used Sister B to go down the highways and byways to knock on doors." Frey also testified in the deposition that he asked DeRouen to reach out to Gauthe's victims, but that DeRouen did not know the victims' names.
· Read Chapter Two: The church protects its own ·
Account of Jeff Anderson's interactions with Archbishop John Roach and the archdiocese's attorneys in the Adamson cases:
• Transcript of the May 8, 1986, deposition of Archbishop John Roach
• MPR News interviews of Jeff Anderson at his St. Paul office on Nov. 20 and Nov. 22, 2013
Rev. Thomas Adamson's complaints about his treatment at a hospital following allegations of sexual misconduct:
• Letter from Adamson to Winona Bishop Loras Watters on June 27, 1974, in which Adamson writes, "I am the ONLY one of the patients on this unit who cares about and watches the evening news."
Winona Bishop Loras Watters' decision to send Adamson to the Twin Cities:
• Letter from Watters to Adamson on Dec. 30, 1974
Watters' 1976 decision that Adamson wasn't ready for a parish assignment, and Archbishop John Roach's decision to appoint Adamson to serve at a parish in the Twin Cities archdiocese:
• Letter from Watters to archdiocese therapist Rev. Kenneth Pierre on April 19, 1975, in which Watters says Adamson "doesn't even begin to appreciate the numbers of people in at least five different communities across the entire diocese who have finally pieced together incidents concerning a fifteen year span."
• Letter from Adamson to Watters on June 21, 1976
Rev. Joseph Wajda's involvement in reporting allegations against Adamson:
• Memo by the Rev. Robert Carlson to Roach on Nov. 18, 1980
• Memo by the Rev. Robert Carlson to Adamson's file on Dec. 4, 1980
• Trial testimony by Wajda on Oct. 29, 1990, as part of a lawsuit filed by a man who said he was abused by Adamson as a child
• MPR News interview of Wajda at his home on Dec. 2, 2013.
Roach's decision to send Adamson to a hospital for treatment:
• Letter by Roach to Winona Bishop Loras Watters on Dec. 19, 1980
Rev. Robert Carlson's involvement in the Adamson case in 1984:
• Memo by Carlson to Archbishop John Roach on June 29, 1984, in which Carlson writes, "The statute of limitations does not run out for two and a half years. The mother and father are considering reporting this to police."
Winona Bishop Loras Watters's testimony, in which he claims that Carlson had advised him that when he would be deposed, "The best thing you can say is, 'I don't remember.'"
• Transcript of the March 17, 1986, deposition of Watters
The archdiocese's concerns in the wake of the Adamson scandal about other priests accused of child sexual abuse:
• Carlson memo on Feb. 18, 1987 to Roach, in which he writes, "As the Adamson case develops my concern regarding two other cases is on the rise. I feel it would be good for us to review the Kapoun case and, in light of new reports, the DeSutter case. The information on these two cases is probably in the secret archives. I doubt very much is in the main vault."
Other examples of Roach's strategy of sending abusive priests for therapy or making them sign private agreements during the Adamson scandal:
• June 18, 1987, agreement with the Rev. Lee Krautkremer
• Memo by the Rev. Michael O'Connell to a New Mexico-based clergy treatment center on Dec. 4, 1987, about the Rev. Jerome Kern and the Rev. Richard Jeub.
Top church officials joking reference to archdiocese attorney Andrew Eisenzimmer's home as "The House that Adamson Built," because of the money that Eisenzimmer had earned from his work on the Adamson lawsuits:
• MPR News interview of Jennifer Haselberger.
Conversation in a Ramsey County courtroom between Eisenzimmer and chancellor Joe Kueppers, in which they discuss the successful defense of the archdiocese in the Adamson cases:
• Notes from two MPR News reporters who attended the hearing and overheard the conversation for nearly an hour.
Claims about sexual exploitation of young women by the Rev. Michael Kolar and sexual advances by Monsignor Jerome Boxleitner:
• Transcript of an April 11, 1991, deposition of Kolar, in which he admits that he engaged in sexual exploitation and alleges that he was sexually abused as a 22-year-old by a priest
• Transcript of testimony on May 29, 1992, by the Rev. Kevin McDonough, who identified Kolar's alleged abuser as Boxleitner, the director of Catholic Charities, and said he knew of Kolar's claim that Boxleitner "touched him on the genitals" but didn't consider it sexual abuse.
Reports about the Rev. Gilbert Gustafson's sexual abuse of Brian Herrity:
• White Bear Lake police report in 1983
• Police interview of Brian Herrity
Gustafson's sentencing hearing, in which priests hugged Gustafson and showed him their support:
• MPR News interview of Jeff and Cheryl Herrity at their home in White Bear Lake on Oct. 27, 2013
Rev. Stephen Adrian's positive recommendation for Gustafson despite his conviction for child sexual abuse:
• Adrian's March 22, 1985, letter of recommendation
Monsignor Jerome Boxleitner's decision to offer Gustafson a job at Catholic Charities:
• Letter by Boxleitner to Archbishop John Roach on Sept. 16, 1983
Roach's decision to approve Gustafson's job as a community outreach director at Catholic Charities:
• Letter from Roach to Boxleitner on May 7, 1986
Therapist Gary Schoener's praise of Gustafson:
• Letter from Schoener to the Rev. Kevin McDonough on Nov. 28, 1989, in which Schoener says, of Gustafson, "Among pedophiles he has exceptional insight and also takes clear responsibility for his actions to a degree which is, frankly, rare and refreshing."
Gustafson's proposal to help "formulate policy and procedure regarding criminal sexuality" for the archdiocese:
• Memo by Gustafson titled, "Ministerial Options for Gil Gustafson," in which he says that "one of the most powerful resources I bring to ministry is my history as a sex offender."
Gustafson's suggestion that he could work as a "shadow researcher" to help the archdiocese respond to sexual abuse victims:
• Memo by Gustafson to McDonough on April 26, 1993
McDonough's proposal that Gustafson "serve as a sort of 'executive coordinator' for clergy sexual abuse cases:
• Memo from McDonough to Archbishop Roach on Aug. 28, 1989
The archdiocese's decision to provide disability payments to Gustafson:
• Memo by McDonough, addressed to "The File of Fr. Gil Gustafson," in which McDonough explains that Gustafson receives disability payments from the archdiocese and doesn't receive a salary from Catholic Charities, an arrangement that "provided both of our institutions with a certain 'deniability,' so that we could use his gifts without having to confront the concerns and even prejudice in the minds of some."
Archbishop John Roach's meeting with Brian Herrity, the Gustafson victim, in 1994:
• Memo by Roach on Nov. 30, 1994, addressed to Gustafson's file
Chapter Three: Sources and notes
· Read Chapter Three: Archbishop makes vow, breaks it ·
• A profile of McDonough published in the May 30, 1980, edition of the Catholic Bulletin, the official newspaper for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. (The newspaper later changed its name to The Catholic Spirit.)
The archdiocese had at least 11 abusive priests in ministry when the national abuse scandal broke in 2002, and that at least another nine priests accused of abuse had retired, moved to other states or worked in administrative jobs:
• Clergy Abuse Disclosures" section of the archdiocese's website
• Documents on priests posted as part of an MPR News report, "Accused priests: who they are, where they served, what's alleged," published on Feb. 19, 2014
Archbishop Harry Flynn's decision to classify the Rev. Gilbert Gustafson as disabled because of child sexual abuse:
• Signed agreement with Gustafson and the Rev. Kevin McDonough, Flynn's top deputy, dated July 17, 2006
McDonough's communication with abusive priests about the archdiocese's decision to remove their names from the Minnesota Catholic Directory:
• Oct. 10, 2002 memo from McDonough to the abusive priests
The Rev. Joseph Wajda's efforts to convince the archdiocese to follow canon law in handling his case:
• MPR News interview of Wajda at his home on Dec. 2, 2013. Internal archdiocese memos that document the archdiocese's handling of Wajda's case
McDonough's evaluation of allegations, and how he appeared to consider himself something of an amateur psychologist:
• Memo from McDonough to Flynn on Aug. 8, 2005, in which McDonough says, "I believe that it is likely that he did kiss them without any conscious sexual intent, at least in part because he was largely unaware of that dimension of his life at that time."
• Memo by McDonough on Aug. 3, 2006, addressed to "File of Father Curtis Wehmeyer," in which McDonough said that Wehmeyer's habit of cruising nearby parks wasn't necessarily sexual.
• Memo by McDonough to the Rev. Dan Griffith on Oct. 22, 2004, in which McDonough assured a colleague that a priest's misconduct was not "the tip of some awful psycho-sexual iceberg but a previously reinforced pattern that now must be changed."
Allegations against the Rev. Jerry Foley:
• Nov. 15, 2005, letter from McDonough to a married couple in Chaska, Minn.
Jennifer Haselberger's meeting with Foley and McDonough:
• MPR News interview of Haselberger
McDonough's claim that he didn't understand how to follow the Charter, and that he missed the national training because of a snowstorm:
• Aug. 2, 2004 memo from McDonough to Sister Dominica Brennan, who was the chancellor for canonical affairs, a position later held by Jennifer Haselberger
McDonough's meetings with an alleged victim of the Rev. Jerome Kern and his father, including McDonough's decision to funnel his notes from that meeting to the archdiocese's attorneys:
• Memo by McDonough to Archbishop Harry Flynn on March 16, 2004, in which McDonough writes of the man's claims about when he began aware that he suffered long-term harm from the abuse, "My guess is that our lawyers would tell us that that sort of an admission would prevent [the man] from ever successfully bringing a lawsuit if there is any kind of statute of limitations on such a suit at all."
McDonough's negotiation of a financial settlement for a man who claimed that he had been sexually exploited by a priest at the St. Paul Seminary:
• May 10, 2005, memo by McDonough to Flynn and other top church officials, in which McDonough characterizes the archdiocese's "legal exposure" as "very limited, and even nothing."
• Letter by McDonough to the alleged victim on May 31, 2005, in which McDonough suggests that the archdiocese could give the man $5,000
• Memo by McDonough to Flynn and chancellor Bill Fallon on Aug. 1, 2005, in which McDonough suggests that the archdiocese increase its offer the alleged victim to "about $15,000. That way the negotiation moves up from what I previously offered but is still smaller than what he asked for initially by about fifty times."
• Letter by McDonough to the alleged victim on Aug. 18, 2005, in which McDonough says, "Archbishop Flynn asked me to suggest that we make a further gift to you of $15,000, reflecting our acknowledgment of the pain that you experienced and that you and I discussed."
McDonough's handling of abuse allegations brought by Tom Mahowald:
• Letter from McDonough to Mahowald on May 8, 2006, in which McDonough says that a private investigator hired by the archdiocese "found no credible, corroborating or supporting information" of Mahowald's alleged abuse by the Rev. Patrick Ryan in 1961, and that the archdiocese would end its financial support.
• Mahowald's letter of complaint to McDonough
• MPR News interview of Mahowald on Oct. 30, 2013
• Video of Mahowald's 2004 interview of McDonough, provided by Mahowald to MPR News
For the excerpts from private investigator Richard Setter's interview of Mahowald:
• A 56-page transcript of the Nov. 11, 2005 interview, provided to Mahowald by the archdiocese after Mahowald demanded to see the investigative file. The transcript was part of a limited set of documents that Mahowald received; McDonough declined to give him the complete investigative file.
Chapter Four: Sources and notes
· Read Chapter Four: Cover-up unravels from the inside ·
Jennifer Haselberger's time as the archdiocese's chancellor for canonical affairs:
• MPR News interviews with Haselberger from July to September 2013
Haselberger's communication with Archbishop John Nienstedt in October 2008 about a priest accused of misconduct:
• Memo by Haselberger to Nienstedt on Oct. 6, 2008, which includes Nienstedt's handwritten reply on the same page.
Nienstedt's request that Haselberger review the files of priests who had sexually abused children to make sure the paperwork was in order — and Haselberger's notification to Nienstedt that church procedures had not been followed:
• Memo by Haselberger to Nienstedt and other top church officials on Nov. 19, 2008, in which Haselberger notes "that we do not have precepts in place for any of the Charter priests in the Archdiocese."
Additional information on Nienstedt's awareness of Archbishop Harry Flynn's failure to follow church procedures in handling clergy sexual abuse cases:
• Memo by Nienstedt to archdiocese attorney Andrew Eisenzimmer and the Rev. Lee Piche, in which Nienstedt says, "I think that the process that (Haselberger outlined in an earlier memo) should be part of our Archdiocesan policies. Is it possible? Has this already been done? If not, should we proceed with having it done?"
Nienstedt's statement that "there have been in the past a good number of transactions in which proper canonical processes were not followed or, if followed, they were not properly recorded," and, "Given this situation, I do not believe that it is prudent for us to try and correct all the mistakes of the past thirty years in my first six months. I certainly do not want to become known as the Archdiocesan Savonarola."
• Memo by Nienstedt to Haselberger on Dec. 19, 2008
Information that Haselberger uncovered about the Rev. Joseph Gallatin and the Rev. Michael Stevens:
• MPR News interviews of Jennifer Haselberger from July to September 2013
• internal documents reviewed by MPR News (see next two sources)
Internal documents reviewed by MPR News, including:
• A report by Robert Barron, following a psychological evaluation or similar testing of Gallatin on Dec. 21, 2001. The report says Gallatin "also feels that he has learned to acknowledge his sexual attractions to males and realizes now that he may have sexual attractions to male as young as 12, although his primary interest is in older teenage males." Gallatin "also states that in the past he tended to be somewhat preoccupied by having conversations with and seeing teenage males who attended the school in his parish, even though he is not allowed private contact with them. He states he was somewhat preoccupied with developing relationships with some of these individuals. He feels the friendship was important to him even though he does not feel he is at risk for any boundary violation. However, when we went on a vacation he realized that he wasn't consumed with his desire to see youth males in general which made him feel much more emotionally free."
It continues: Gallatin "reports that he is generally happy with his current placement at St. Bernard's Parish as an associate parish priest and also continues to be strongly committed to the priesthood. He does indicate that he feels somewhat uncomfortable and embarrassed because he continues to be an associate pastor in spite of the long time he has been ordained, but realizes that this is because the church is concerned that he first complete therapy and also that the seven year Statute of Limitations pass before he be considered for an alternative assignment. At this point he does indicate, as noted, that he is not allowed to be alone with minors or to teach them or be in a position of authority with them … At the present time he feels he is aware of and needs to remain aware of his attraction towards teenage males and to continuously monitor his behavior, but does not feel that he is at risk for future sexual boundary problems."
The report concludes, "The current evaluation results indicate that client continues to exhibit significant improvement in overall social and emotional functioning, as well as insight into his own sexuality issues and the importance of maintaining appropriate boundaries. Ongoing therapy related to these issues, until his therapist feels termination is appropriate, is recommended."
Internal documents reviewed by MPR News, including:
• A July 30, 2002 memo by chancellor Bill Fallon to Archbishop Harry Flynn and the Rev. Kevin McDonough, Flynn's top deputy, about whether Gallatin should be considered a "Charter priest."
Fallon writes, "In July 1998, Gallatin accompanied a group of young people from his church to West Virginia. On the fourth night of the trip was group was staying in a dormitory and Fr. Gallatin was having difficulty sleeping. During the night a number of individuals were snoring, including a 17 year old male in the bunk above him. He states that on the previous three nights, the young man had also snored and he had stood and touched him and shook him to turn over and stop snoring. One the fourth night, he also stood up and started to do the same thing, but when he shook the young man, he did not wake up. He ran his hand down the young man's arm and then moved his hand beneath the young man's tee shirt and began rubbing his stomach and chest.
"This went on for approximately 45 seconds until the young man woke up and asked who is there. Fr. Gallatin said, 'it's me.' the following say, the young man reported this incident to other counselors and Fr. Gallatin apologized but also saying that he was trying to wake him up. The young man said, 'then why did you have your hand under my shirt?' Gallatin said, 'I don't have an answer to that question.' Subsequently, when asked by his pastor what had happened and if it was something sexual, Fr. Gallatin acknowledged that it was, but stated he did not mean for it to happen.
"In a subsequent meeting with Fr. McDonough and me, Fr. Gallatin admitted that there was some sexual pleasure in this touching. He also admitted to Dr. Barron, his therapist, that he had on two earlier occasions, in college, rubbed the bare chest of his roommate while he was asleep. He also acknowledged to Dr. Barron that touching the chest and stomach of the young man was sexually pleasurable, but not to the same extent as to his friend in college.
"In subsequent reports from Dr. Barron, Fr. Gallatin has reported that he has learned to acknowledge his sexual attraction to males and realizes that he may have sexual attractions to male as young as twelve although his primary interest is in older teenage males.
"While the act involved here was clearly not criminal sexual abuse or sexual contact and was clearly a boundary violation, whether it constituted sexual abuse within the definition of the Charter is an open question. It could be argued that because that definition does not require genital contact, nor discernible harmful outcome, because the young man was used as an object of sexual gratification, the act would constitute sexual abuse as defined.
"On the other hand, the act itself occurred while the young man was asleep and apparently Fr. Gallatin immediately removed his hand when he realized that the young man had awakened. The contact was then minimal to an extreme.
"This is one of those cases where the Charter offers very little help, and we can only hope that future developments will shed greater light on what in fact constitutes sexual abuse. For the present, it is my conclusion that the act complained of is insufficient, but that the case should again be reviewed by either the Clergy Review Board or as part of the new procedures being established under the Charter."
Previous warnings about alleged sexual misconduct by the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, who would later admit to sexually abusing two boys and possessing child pornography:
• Statements provided to the archdiocese by two men who said that Wehmeyer approached him in a sexually inappropriate manner at a bookstore in 2004.
• Oct. 8, 2004, letter to McDonough by the father of one of the young men approached by Wehmeyer at the bookstore, in which the man says, "As difficult as it is to say, I cannot help but get a sense that this is just going to 'quietly go away.' That I will never hear of anything more, until God forbid, I read a police log or hear of another individual being approached."
The Wehmeyer bookstore incident:
• June 26, 2012, letter to Nienstedt after Wehmeyer's arrest, from the parishioner who warned years earlier of the bookstore incident, in which the parishioner writes, "Today as I see Fr. Wehmeyer's photo in the newspaper, I'm deeply saddened and I'm angry."
Wehmeyer's habit of cruising nearby parks:
• Memo by McDonough on Aug. 3, 2006, addressed to "File of Father Curtis Wehmeyer," in which McDonough said that Wehmeyer's actions weren't necessarily sexual.
Haselberger's efforts to encourage Nienstedt to review Wehmeyer's file:
• MPR News interviews of Haselberger, July through September 2013
• Memo by Haselberger to Nienstsedt on April 28, 2009
Wehmeyer's interactions with Nienstedt:
• Letter by Wehmeyer to Nienstedt on April 23, 2009, in which Wehmeyer thanks Nienstedt for "a wonderful meal and conversation" at Chianti's Grill and says there has been "confusion" about whether he had been named pastor."
McDonough's advice that parish employees didn't need to be notified about Wehmeyer's past misconduct:
• May 9, 2011, memo by McDonough to Tim Rourke, the archdiocese official who monitored abusive priests, in which McDonough says, "I think that you share with me the opinion that he really was not all that interested in an actual sexual encounter, but rather was obtaining some stimulation by 'playing with fire.' This sort of behavior would not show up in the workplace."
Wehmeyer's sexual abuse of two boys and the possession of child pornography, and the subsequent police investigation:
• Police records
Charges against Wehmeyer for sexually abusing two boys:
• Criminal complaint
Charges against Wehmeyer for possession of child pornography:
• Criminal complaint
Wehmeyer's guilty pleas: Three filings of guilty pleas for the three sets of charges
• Sentencing motions
Nienstedt's communication with the Vatican about the Rev. Harry Walsh:
• March 1, 2012, letter by Nienstedt to Cardinal William Joseph Levada, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican.
The debate at the chancery in 2013 over whether to tell the public that the Vatican had decided to defrock the Rev. Joseph Wajda, who had been accused of child sexual abuse:
• Email by archdiocese attorney Andrew Eisenzimmer to Jennifer Haselberger on July 13, 2013, in which Eisenzimmer cautions that disclosing the information "will surface the question of naming other abusers and why we didn't do this with others." And a July 13, 2012 email by archdiocesan communications director Sarah Mealey to Haselberger and Vicar General Peter Laird, in which Mealey argues in favor of disclosure, "I do not recommend that we keep this as private communication — mainly because, in this day and age, frankly nothing is 'private' and we run the risk of being perceived incorrectly if we try to keep this below the radar."
• Resignation memo by Haselberger to Nienstedt on April 30, 2014
Private exchanges between Archbishop John Nienstedt and his priests in the fall of 2013 after MPR News published its first investigative reports on the archdiocese's handling of clergy sexual abuse:
• Secret recordings of the meetings, which were provided to MPR News. Additional audio excerpts: