Minneapolis, Minn., Dec 17, 2013 / 02:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Archbishop John Nienstedt has apologized for sex abuse by clergy in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis, urging Catholics to be hopeful that continued progress will be made in preventing the crimes.
“The negative news reports about past incidents of clerical sexual abuse in this local Church have rightly been met with shame, embarrassment and outrage that such heinous acts could be perpetrated by men who had taken priestly vows as well as bishops who failed to remove them from ministry.”
“I am here to apologize for the indignation that you justifiably feel. You deserve better,” the archbishop said in his Dec. 15 homily at two Masses at Our Lady of Grace Church in Edina, a suburb of Minneapolis.
The archdiocese’s newspaper The Catholic Spirit on Dec. 5 published a list of 32 priests who have been “credibly accused” of sexually abusing minors. Another two on the list were accused of sexual relations with women. The list included the priests’ assignments, dates of removal from ministry, current status, and current place of residence.
The archdiocese first compiled the list in 2003 in response to a request from New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which was studying clergy sex abuse under a commission from the U.S. bishops’ National Review Board, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
The Archdiocese of Minneapolis list was published after a court order following allegations of clergy sex abuse and allegations that some church officials covered up the abuse. The Diocese of Winona was also ordered to disclose a list of accused priests.
Several of the Minneapolis diocese’s priests were not previously known to the general public to have faced abuse allegations. About one third of the listed clergy have died. Three of the accused priests served at the same parish in 1984, St. Joseph’s Church in Lino Lakes, Minn. Some priests on the list denied wrongdoing.
Archbishop Nienstedt responded to the list in his homily, saying that while “only one of the crimes against minors has happened in this archdiocese since 2002, that is still one too many.”
He said “the majority” of abuse allegations concern incidents in the 1970s and 1980s. This fact is not intended to “excuse” the abuse or “diminish the harm done to their victims.”
Rather, he said, “it does indicate that progress is being made in reducing the incidence of such terrible misconduct.”
“There is reason, even now, to be (Read More)