Sexual Abuse Discussion at St. Cloud Church

Fox 9
December 4, 2011

[with video]

A long time advocate for children is facing allegations that he sexually abused children decades ago. Sunday night, the St. Cloud diocese held a listening session to let other potential victims come forward and answer questions from parishioners.

The allegations first surfaced in September 2009 when a victim's advocate with the church notified police that two men came forward decades after.

Now the recent allegations that the former church deacon may have abused this position of authority and had continued to have access to minor children outraged some members of the congregation.

Michael Weber served as a deacon at Holy Spirit Church in St. Cloud more than 40 years ago. But the wounds from his alleged sexual abuse were very much in the present.

On Sunday afternoon at least five other victims - including one woman - came forward at the listen session to address concerns that the long-time child advocate may have actually molested children while working at the church.

The 67-year-old seminary drop out went on to have a distinguished career in public service.

He was on the board of directors at United Way and volunteered as a student mentor at St. Johns University. What was expected to last for about an hour went on into the night.

The meeting, initiated by the St. Cloud diocese as a way to let other potential victims come forward for support and healing.

Weber was the assistant commissioner of human services in the 1970s. During the 90s he ran a similar department for Hennepin County, which included the child protection unit.

Weber has yet to be charged with any crimes, but since the allegations surfaced he's parted ways with St. Johns and is no longer on the board of directors at United Way.

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