18 More Report Abuse to Diocese

By Warren Wolfe
Star Tribune
March 4, 2005

Since late 2003, 18 people have told the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis that they were sexually abused as children by priests, nuns and other Catholic church workers, officials said Thursday.

Ten of those cases involved priests from the archdiocese who no longer are in active ministry. The most recent case stems from 1980.

The others were filed by local people against priests, nuns or monks from elsewhere in the country, said Dennis McGrath, a spokesman for the Twin Cities archdiocese.

"The good news, if you can call it that, is that only one of the 10 was a new name, a priest who died 34 years ago," he said. "The others had been previously identified publicly" as alleged perpetrators. He said he did not have permission to name the 10.

It was the archdiocese's second accounting of sexual abuse. Such accounting is required of each of the nation's 195 dioceses under a policy adopted three years ago by American bishops in response to a nationwide sex abuse scandal in the church.

One of the newest suits was filed Wednesday in Hennepin County District Court. A man in his 30s claims that he was abused 20 years ago by a Dominican monk, now dead, who was his religion and sex education teacher at a Minneapolis Catholic school. The archdiocese is not a defendant.

A portion of the information about the new complaints was included in a national report that Catholic bishops made public two weeks ago. McGrath offered more details Thursday.

"We have offered counseling and support to all 18 of the people who came to us, regardless of where the abuse occurred," McGrath said. He said 13 are men and five are women.

Of the six Minnesota dioceses, only the Twin Cities reported new cases since the first report in 2003.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday says that Brother Edmund Frost sexually abused the man in the early 1970s when the alleged victim was 13 and attending a school operated by St. Albert the Great Church.

Frost died several years ago. Also named in the suit are the church and the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great, based in Chicago.

It is the third lawsuit filed by St. Paul attorney Jeffrey Anderson against Frost. The others were dismissed because the six-year statute of limitations - which starts when a child reaches age 18 - had passed.

The order has asked that this lawsuit be dismissed as well, but Anderson said that even though about 20 years have passed since the alleged abuse, the statute of limitations should not apply because of a federal law that exempts people in the military from the time limitation. The man has served in the military since he was 19, Anderson said.


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