Duluth List of Accused Priests Includes 3 with Collegeville Ties

St. Cloud Times
December 31, 2013

Angelo Zankl

The Diocese of Duluth on Tuesday released the names of 17 priests who it says were credibly accused of sexual abuse.

Fourteen of the priests have died. All 17 were removed from the church, are under investigation or were dead when the accusations arose, the Duluth News Tribune reported.

Among those on the list are the Rev. Angelo Zankl, a priest and monk at St. John’s Abbey who died in 2007 at age 106. He was deceased at the time of the allegation, according to the Duluth diocese website.

Zankl served at St. Clement’s in Duluth from 1951 to 1967 and as a chaplain at the St. Scholastica Priory from 1974-87.

According to the St. Cloud Times archives, Zankl was head of the St. John’s University art department in 1934 when he designed the university’s seal. He taught theology at St. John’s Seminary and served as the university’s dean of men.

Zankl has not been included on previous lists of credibly accused clergy. Brother Aelred Senna, spokesman for St. John’s Abbey, said in an email response to the Times that the abbey only learned of the allegations involving Zankl as the Duluth diocese was assembling the list.

“In accordance with our policy regarding new allegations, we will review the issue and proceed with an evaluation,” Senna wrote.

The list also mentions five priests with ties to the Duluth area, who were accused while working elsewhere.

Those five include the Rev. Brennan Maiers, who is listed as living on restrictions at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville. He was permanently removed from ministry in June 2002, according to the Duluth diocese.

Maiers was also included in lists of credibly accused clergy released earlier in December by St. John’s Abbey and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Also named on the Duluth list, among the five with ties to the Duluth area, is the Rev. Othmar Hohmann, a priest from St. John’s Abbey who died in 1980. Hohmann served as assistant pastor at St. John’s Church in Grand Rapids from 1966-76.

Duluth Bishop Paul Sirba said the diocese is releasing its list to bring healing on the issue.

With his wife, Mary, by his side, Verne Wagner, northern Minnesota director of the Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests, reacts Tuesday to the Diocese of Duluth's release of the names of priests credibly accused of sexually abusing minors. / AP

“The release of this information underscores a sad truth that must be acknowledged: Over the last 65 years, a number of clergy members in the Diocese of Duluth have violated the sacred trust placed in them by children, youth and their families,” Sirba said at a news conference.

The release comes several weeks after a lawsuit was filed against the Duluth diocese on behalf of an anonymous man who alleges he was abused by a priest during the 1970s. The lawsuit asked the court to order the release of the list.

The lawsuit alleges the diocese was aware of previous abuse allegations against the priest but continued to let him work with children.

Within the past few weeks, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona released lists of credibly accused priests, complying with a court order.

In all three dioceses, demands for release of the lists were part of lawsuits filed by Jeff Anderson & Associates, a St. Paul law firm.

“Any time they release information, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, it is a step in the right direction,” Anderson told the Star Tribune.

The Duluth list is among those compiled by all dioceses a decade ago in response to a new child protection charter created by U.S. bishops. That list includes the names of credibly accused clergy from 1950 to 2002.

The full list released Tuesday by the Diocese of Duluth:

• The Rev. Kirby Blanchard

• The Rev. Louis Brouillard

• The Rev. Victor Chateauvert

• The Rev. Leonard Colston

• The Rev. Raymond Cossette

• The Rev. Frederick Fox

• The Rev. John Golobich

• The Rev. Ralph Goniea

• The Rev. Robert Klein

• The Rev. Mark Makowski

• The Rev. (Thomas) Gregory Manning

• The Rev. John Nicholson

• The Rev. Dennis Puhl

• The Rev. Thomas Stack

• The Rev. Joseph Thibaudeau

• The Rev. Stephen Toporowitz

• The Rev. Angelo Zankl

• Un-named accused person no longer in ministry

Listed under “Addendum”:

• The Rev. Cornelius Kelleher

• The Rev. J. Vincent Fitzgerald

• The Rev. Othmar Hohmann

• The Rev. Richard Jeub

• The Rev. Brennan Maiers








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