Ex-dubuque Archbishop's Previous Diocese Scrutinized

By Thomas J. Barton
TH Online
July 6, 2015

Advocates for victims of clergy sexual abuse hope a new court ruling will shed light on how the longtime head of the Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque handled abuse claims.

A Minnesota judge on June 22 issued a ruling allowing a clergy sex-abuse and cover-up lawsuit to move forward. The ruling states lawyers can proceed with a public-nuisance claim against the St. Cloud Diocese from a victim who claims to have been sexually abused by a priest. The move allows attorneys to investigate St. Cloud Diocese records and documents regarding all priests who have been accused of misconduct over decades.

The same legal approach has been successful in four other Minnesota dioceses, forcing church officials to disclose documents that had been hidden for decades.

A similar decision in 2013 involving the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis resulted in depositions of top church officials, the public release of thousands of pages of priest files and the release of a dozen additional names of sex abusers.

Former Archbishop Jerome Hanus headed the St. Cloud Diocese from 1987 to 1994 before becoming Archbishop of Dubuque, a position he held from 1995 until 2013. During his tenure in Dubuque, the archdiocese made payments totaling $17.5 million to 73 abuse victims for major settlements in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2013.








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