Man Suing over Alleged Sexual Abuse at St Johns Abbey

By Ambar Espinoza
Minnesota Public Radio
December 8, 2009

MINNESOTA -- A Minnesota man Tuesday sued the Order of St. Benedict at St. John's Abbey in Collegeville over alleged sexual abuse.

Jeremiah McCarthy says he was a sophomore in 1971 at St. John's Prep when Father Bruce Wollmering sexually abused him during a counseling session. Wollmering was a counselor at St. John's Prep during the 1970s. He died earlier this year.

The lawsuit alleges the Benedictine Brothers knew Wollmering was among 11 child molesting clerics at the school and didn't take appropriate measures to keep them away from children. Attorney Patrick Noaker is representing McCarthy, and he said two former Benedictine monks have come forward as witnesses.

"They've come forward in support of Jerry here and this filing and in fact, have confirmed that there was a fraud was committed and that St. John's knew these priests were child molesters and yet they never told anyone," Noaker said.

A spokesman for St. John's Abbey said St. John's is closely reviewing the lawsuit and adds it doesn't tolerate any sexual misconduct.


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