Names of New Ulm Priests Accused of Sexual Misconduct Made Public

By Emily Gurnon
Pioneer Press
August 4, 2014

Attorney Jeff Anderson speaks at a news conference outside the Ramsey County Courthouse in St. Paul, on Monday, August 4 , 2014. Anderson holds a sheet with photos of five out of the eight New Ulm Diocese priests accused of sexual misconduct. (Pioneer Press: Scott Takushi)

Plaintiffs' attorney Jeffrey Anderson released the names of eight priests from the Diocese of New Ulm who had been "credibly accused" of sexually abusing minors.

Six of the names had been made public previously through lawsuits, but two -- the Rev. John L. Gleason and the Rev. John M. Murphy -- had not. Both are deceased.

The other priests are David A. Roney, Francis Markey, Vincent Fitzgerald, William J. Marks, Michael G. Skoblik and Douglas L. Schleisman. Schleisman is the only one believed still alive.

Anderson obtained the names through a deposition taken by his co-counsel, Michael Finnegan, of the Rev. Francis J. Garvey, as part of two lawsuits. Garvey served on the priest personnel board of the diocese and was privy to information about offending priests.

Archbishop John C. Nienstedt, photographed in 2010. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)

John Nienstedt, now archbishop of the Twin Cities, served as bishop in the Diocese of New Ulm from 2001 to 2007. He released the names of 12 priests in that diocese to the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, which had been commissioned by U.S. bishops to collect information on all priests "credibly accused" of sexual abuse of a minor. But Nienstedt did not release those names to the public.

Anderson called on the archbishop to release those names now.

The archdiocese said Monday that Nienstedt could not release the names of the New Ulm priests because he is no longer in charge there.

Nienstedt said in a written statement Monday that seven of the eight men named were deceased, and the one who remains alive has been defrocked, Nien-stedt said.

"During that time, it was the practice of every diocese in the state of Minnesota to maintain the confidentiality of clergy information that was compiled as a part of the John Jay study in 2003," he wrote.

A spokeswoman for the diocese said Monday that it would issue a written response Tuesday.

Anderson's office said it believes the priest still living is Douglas L. Schleisman. According to Garvey's deposition, Schleisman is currently working in the Twin Cities.

Attorney Jeff Anderson displays a sheet with the names and photos of five of the eight New Ulm Diocese priests accused of sexual misconduct. The names and pictures are: top row: Vincent Fitzgerald, William J. Marks, Francis Markey, David Roney and Michael G. Skoblik. (Pioneer Press: Scott Takushi)

Murphy was ordained in 1951 in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and served at St. Theresa in St. Paul, the Basilica in Minneapolis and in the towns of Gibbon, Ortonville, Montevideo, Redwood Falls, North Mankato, Springfield, Lamberton, Appleton and Holloway, according to a New Ulm diocese newspaper article on his death in 2001. In his retirement, he volunteered at St. John's Church of Little Canada, the paper said.

Garvey said in the deposition that Murphy's housekeeper came to him in the 1980s and reported "that (Murphy) was having boys up to his room." Garvey reported it to the bishop at the time, Alphonse Schladweiler, and he "did nothing about it. He told me to mind my own business."

Regarding Gleason, Garvey said that he confronted the priest himself about allegations involving a minor.

"When we confronted him (around 1990), he immediately resigned and left the diocese," moving to California, Garvey said. Gleason denied the allegations.

Gleason died in 1998 and is buried at Calvary Cemetery in St. Paul, according to an online record.

Emily Gurnon can be reached at 651-228-5522. Follow her at









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