Diocese of New Ulm News Release #355
Statement Concerning David A. Roney

August 1, 2003

The Catholic Diocese of New Ulm, MN has been named in two lawsuits against David A. Roney, a deceased priest of the New Ulm Diocese. Charges relate to sexual misconduct with two female minors alleged to have taken place during the time in which Roney was pastor of the Church of St. Mary in Willmar, MN (1967-1980). The Church of St. Mary, Willmar, MN is also mentioned in the summons and complaints.

Allegations of sexual misconduct by Roney were first brought to the attention of the New Ulm Diocese in 1987. As a result of these allegations, Roney underwent psychological evaluation and continued to receive psychotherapy for the next two years.

In April 2002, The Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt, the new bishop of New Ulm, and the Diocesan Review Board for Sexual Misconduct reviewed the case of Roney. They recommended that Roney's pastoral duties be terminated and no further assignment to active ministry be given. That same month, Bishop Nienstedt issued a decree placing Roney on administrative leave without faculties.

David Roney was ordained for the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN in August of 1945.

His assignments in the Archdiocese include: Assistant Pastor, St. Mary Basilica, Minneapolis, 1945-1952; Pastor, Church of St. Francis, St. Croix Beach, 1952-1955; Church of St. John-Assumption, Faxon Township, 1955-1957.

The Diocese of New Ulm was formed in 1957. At that time, when a new diocese was created, all priests serving within the boundaries of the newly formed diocese automatically became part of that diocese. Roney's assignments in the New Ulm Diocese include: Pastor, Church of St. John-Assumption, Faxon Township, 1957-1958; Church of St. Paul, Walnut Grove, 1958-1963; Church of St. Francis, Benson, 1963-1967; Church of St. Mary, Willmar, 1967-1980; Church of St. Gregory the Great, Lafayette, 1980-1993. He also served as Director of the San Lucas Mission Office and Director of the Propagation of the Faith for the Diocese of New Ulm. Roney retired from active ministry in 1993 and resided in San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala since 1994. Roney died January 27, 2003 at the age of 82.

The Diocese of New Ulm deeply regrets the long-lasting and devastating effects of sexual misconduct on the part of clergy. Such misconduct requires positive action on our part and we have been strengthening our systems and procedures in order to address this grave issue. This is also the purpose of the U.S. bishops' "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People."

The Diocese of New Ulm has been diligent in its efforts to establish a "safe environment" program which educates clergy, teachers, parents and students, and helps them identify and prevent sexual misconduct. We are committed to offer help and healing to anyone who has been a victim of sexual misconduct and to prevent this terrible crime in the Diocese. Anyone who has suffered sexual abuse, exploitation, or harassment by a priest, deacon, pastor or pastoral administrator of the Diocese of New Ulm is asked to report such misconduct to the Victim Assistance Coordinator or the Bishop's Delegate in Matters Pertaining to Sexual Misconduct, 1400 Sixth Street North, New Ulm, MN 56073; phone: (507) 359-2966.


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