17 more Twin Cities priests ID’d as probable pedophiles
St. Paul -- The Twin Cities archdiocese and the law offices of Jeff Anderson issued a joint statement Thursday disclosing names of 17 priests with "substantiated" claims of sexual abuse of a minor -- including four that have been unknown to the p...
St. Paul - The Twin Cities archdiocese and the law offices of Jeff Anderson issued a joint statement Thursday disclosing names of 17 priests with “substantiated” claims of sexual abuse of a minor - including four that have been unknown to the public.
The names bring to 55 the priests deemed to have substantiated claims of child sexual abuse within the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Ten of the 17 priests have died, “but the pain they caused is very much alive,” Archbishop John Nienstedt said in a written statement. “I am profoundly saddened and sorry for the harm clergy sexual abuse has caused victims and survivors, their families and the community.”
The joint statement comes 10 days after archdiocese officials and Anderson’s office, which represents victims of clergy sex abuse, held a joint news conference at the Landmark Center in St. Paul. They announced the settlement of a lawsuit that had disgorged more than 50,000 pages of priest personnel documents going back decades, and a new child protection plan.
The disclosures Thursday were part of the Oct. 13 settlement, Anderson said.
Four of the names have never before been known to the public, he said. Those are Robert P. Clark, Donald Dummer, Harry Majerus and John Owens. Clark, Dummer and Owens still are alive, in Mesa, Ariz.; Tewksbury, Mass.; and Forest Lake, Minn., respectively.
The other priests are Edward Beutner, Thomas Ericksen, Ambrose Filbin, Jerry Foley, Ralph Goniea, Reginald Krakovsky, William Marks, Wendell Mohs, James Nickel, James Porter, Charles Potocki, James Vedro and Adalbert Wolski. Of those, Ericksen, Foley, Mohs and Vedro still are living.
Three additional priests whom the archdiocese previously listed as having “unsubstantiated” claims against them are now considered to have substantiated claims of abuse of a minor, officials said. They are: Roger Vaughn, now living in New York, N.Y.; Eugene Corica, deceased; and Robert Loftus, deceased.
“This is a big step forward in an action plan begun and reached as part of an agreement with the archdiocese,” Anderson said. “The more that is known about these offenders and their histories, the safer our community becomes. This is just the beginning of a plan for full disclosure.”
A Minnesota spokesman for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said it was pleased the names were released Thursday.
“But police, prosecutors, parishioners, parents and the public need and deserve to know where and when these priests assaulted children,” said Frank Meuers. “Archbishop Nienstedt must be more forthcoming if kids are to be better protected and victims are to be better supported.”
Catholic officials did not disclose when the abuse reports were made, what they consisted of or where the abuse took place.
The Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service.