Abbey: Please Report Abuse

By Frank Lee
St. Cloud Times (Minnesota)
May 25, 2006

St. John's Abbey is asking those who have been victimized by a former St. Cloud pastor to come forward after last year's revelations of sexual abuse in the St. Cloud diocese.

In September, a 50-year-old man claimed he was abused by the late Rev. Robert Blumeyer, a priest of the St. John's monastic community who died Oct. 5, 1983.

"The abbot (John Klassen) does not know, at this point, of any other allegations of abuse against Father Blumeyer," said the Rev. William Skudlarek, abbey spokesman.

The abuse began in 1969 when the victim was 13 and Blumeyer was an assistant pastor at St. Bartholomew Parish in Wayzata, according to a statement the abbey released.

The abuse continued for almost a decade while Blumeyer served in pastoral roles at parishes in Hastings and Avon, but it wasn't until last year that the victim came forward.

"I guess what's been observed in cases like this is that a victim will come forward when they are ready to come forward," Skudlarek said Wednesday.

Blumeyer also served as assistant pastor at the Church of St. Augustine in St. Cloud from 1965-68 before the Iowa native died of a heart attack at the age of 61.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis have paid for the victim's therapy. He also accepted a financial settlement from St. John's Abbey and the archdiocese.

"I think his report was deemed credible simply because there was a correlation between the events he gave and the times and places where the father served," Skudlarek said.

"However, it's not to be taken as an admission of some 'dereliction of duty' by the abbey."

Klassen urges those who have been abused or know someone who has been abused to call Gary Schoener, victim advocate for St. John's Abbey, at (612) 870-0565.

"We are providing an opportunity for a victim to go to a neutral place a professional counselor who knows how to listen and respond properly," Skudlarek said.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was among the dioceses that did not meet child-protection guidelines, according to an audit by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that was released in March.

Work history

Robert Blumeyer was born June 11, 1922, in Boyden, Iowa, before he was ordained a priest May 19, 1956.

He spent 27 years in pastoral ministry and served at the following parishes before he died of a heart attack Oct. 5, 1983:

— St. Boniface Church, Hastings, 1956-65, assistant pastor.

— St. Augustine Church, St. Cloud, 1965-68, assistant pastor.

— St. Benedict Church, Bronx, N.Y., 1968-69, assistant pastor.

— St. Bartholomew's Church, Wayzata, 1969-72, assistant pastor and pastor, 1972-73.

— St. Boniface Church, Hastings, 1973-78, pastor.

— St. Benedict Church, Avon, 1978-82, pastor.

— St. Catherine Church, Farming, 1982-83, pastor.

Source: St. John's Abbey, Collegeville


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