Church to Host Listening Session after Former Deacon Accused of Abuse

By David Unze
St. Cloud Times
December 3, 2011

The Church of the Holy Spirit in south St. Cloud will host a listening session Sunday afternoon about accusations of sexual misconduct against Michael W. Weber, who was a deacon at the church in the late 1960s.

The listening session is set for 4 p.m.

Weber, who went on to an award-winning career in child protection, is accused of sexually abusing at least three boys in the late 1960s. Weber, 67, is a Foley native and St. John's University graduate who lives in the Twin Cities.

He has not responded to repeated requests for comment about the allegations, which the St. Cloud diocese has said are credible.

Weber is accused of fondling a boy he met while serving as a "big brother" to the boy in St. Cloud in the late 1960s. That person filed a police report with Benton County in November detailing his accusations against Weber.

A report also was filed this month with the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office detailing a separate abuse allegation against Weber by a second victim.

Weber has had a long career in child protection work. He was associate director and acting executive director of the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse. He is past director of the Hennepin County Community Services Department and was an assistant commissioner in the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Weber resigned from the board of the Greater Twin Cities United Way after the allegations became public last month. He also ended his affiliation as a volunteer mentor in the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship.

The listening session is a chance for the diocese to hear from victims and to offer support and services, said Jane Marrin, spokeswoman for the diocese.

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