Saint Luke Institute, Priest Named in Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

By Jennie Olson
November 19, 2013

There’s another lawsuit against the Catholic Church over more sexual abuse claims.

The lawsuit names the Order of St. Benedict/St. John’s Abbey, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Saint Luke Institute and Father Francis Hoefgen as defendants.

The lawsuit alleges the organizations allowed Father Hoefgen to work with children even after he admitted to police in 1984 that he sexually abused a minor.

Hoefgen, who was a member of St. John’s, was sent to Saint Luke Institute for an evaluation in 1984 and returned to ministry in 1985 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Hastings, according to the lawsuit.

"No one could see it, no one could hear it but it was definitely happening.  Now with these basic frameworks and these basic tools i think people are going to start to see exactly how child abuse was covered up," said Patrick Wall with Jeff Anderson and Associates.

The lawsuit says he sexually abused a boy when he was there. The victim is a Minnesota man who is now in his 30s.

"The lawsuit is really about the framework of how the Archdiocese, St. Johns and St. Lukes has covered up dozens and dozens of child abuse cases in the state of Minnesota for the last few decades," said Wall.

At a news conference Tuesday, the attorneys for the victim also asked that the names and files of clerics and priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse be made public.  In all, they asked for 17 names from St. Johns/St. Bens, and 33 names from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

A call to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis wasn't immediately returned.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.