Suit Charges Monk with Sexual Abuse
The lawsuit was filed in Denver District Court on Wednesday by attorneys representing Stephen Seewer, who now lives in San Francisco.
It brought an immediate and intense denial from the Abbey.
''The evidence not only does not support, but contradicts, the contentions of the plaintiff . . . that the Abbey School approved and condoned the use of physical and sexual abuse of its students,'' said Rev. Kenneth Hein.
''The Abbey is prepared to defend itself to the fullest extent possible against what it believes to be false and malicious allegations.''
The accused monk, Barnabus Stelzner, is still assigned to the Abbey but now works in Kansas.
The lawsuit also named as defendants the Abbey, the Benedictine Society of Colorado and the Catholic Diocese of Pueblo.
The Benedictines operated a boarding school for high school-aged boys at the Abbey until rising debts and declining enrollments forced its closure in 1985.
Seewer claims he was an Abbey student in 1982 and 1983, and during that time was ''sexually, physically and emotionally abused'' by Stelzner.
''In performing the sexual acts, which began in Denver, Colo., Stelzner sometimes told (Seewer) that the acts were the will of God,'' the lawsuit states.
Seewer claims in the suit that the repeated sexual abuse induced confusion about his sexual identity, and unconsciously suppressed his memory of the acts until last September.
The lawsuit contends that besides sexual abuse, students were made to undergo corporal punishment.
''Students were required to take their clothes off in front of the student body, expose their genitals and then be paddled on the backside with boards by the brothers and other employees,'' the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit claims that the Pueblo Diocese was aware that sexual abuse of students at the abbey was an ongoing problem dating back to the 1970s, and that offending monks were reassigned to ''unsuspecting parishes.''
Bishop Arthur Tafoya of the Pueblo Diocese was out of town Wednesday and could not be reached for comment. Seewer could not be reached for comment.
Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems