Statement from Bishop Andrew Cozzens
By Jim Accurso
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis
August 20, 2014
Today, a mediated settlement was reached in the case of Doe 100, who was abused by Thomas Stitts in 1971. Stitts was assigned as a priest at local parishes from 1962 until his death in 1985. Stitts’ name was disclosed by the archdiocese last year and his assignment history is posted on the archdiocesan website here.
The settlement mediation involved attorneys for the victim and for the archdiocese, as well as the archdiocese’s vicar general, who functions as the archbishop’s chief of staff. We regret that the victim’s pleas for help were not heard earlier by the archdiocese. We are grateful now that we were able to listen to Doe 100.
The settlement is not confidential. Since the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was issued by U.S. bishops in 2002, dioceses have not engaged in confidential settlements. However, out of deference to the victim, the archdiocese is not presently disclosing the terms of the settlement.
The Doe 100 case was slated to go to trial on December 15, 2014. It is now the first case filed under Minnesota’s Child Victims Act to be settled.
The archdiocese apologizes for the harm suffered by abuse victim/survivors and their families and friends and asks for forgiveness for the Church’s shameful failures of the past. We were grateful this week to hear this victim and make a positive step toward helping.