Minnesota Dioceses Seek to Block Release of Priest Abusers List

CathNews USA
April 8, 2009

The Archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona are filing a court motion to try to block the public release of a list of priests accused of sexual abuse.

A Ramsey County district judge ordered two months ago that the archdiocese hand over the list to St Paul attorney Jeff Anderson, who has filed many cases involving sexual abuse by priests, The Star-Tribune reports.

Anderson is representing a Twin Cities man, identified only as John Doe 76C, who alleged that he was sexually abused by former Catholic priest Thomas Adamson between 1980 and 1982 while Adamson was serving at Risen Savior Parish in Apple Valley. Anderson was planning to use the list of names when the case goes to trial in early June.

"They've brought a motion to keep it secret," Anderson said. "It's their effort to keep the crimes secret."

The archdiocese did not return calls for comment Tuesday.

Anderson said that he told the archdiocese and diocese that he was planning to go public with the list of names when he received it about a month ago and that they responded by seeking a court order to block Anderson from releasing it.

The archdiocese's list compiles claims of abuse it deems credible and the names of accused priests and church officials who might have relocated the priests, Anderson said.

Groups seek release of Boston files

Meanwhile, three groups that support clergy sex abuse victims are asking the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston to release the names of all credibly accused priests.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the Boston Voice of the Faithful and made the request in letters sent in the last week. They argue that releasing the names of accused church staffers is a matter of public safety and a way to relieve the suffering of victims.

Some have raised concerns about due process for priests. In a letter last month, Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley called the issue "complex." But he also wrote that he expected a policy change "in the very near future."


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