Catholic Church Sex Abuse Survivors Frustrated By Pope Francis’ US Visit, Lack Of Action

[Marker] pointed to the case of his classmate Ben Spanier, whose parents allege he was abused by the Rev. Thomas Andert at Saint John’s Abbey in the mid-1990s. Pending a separate investigation, the accused priest was put on leave this past August — too late for Spanier, who killed himself in December 2014.
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‘Incest’ best describes abuse by those you trust

“I thought of this when I recently learned a victim of sexual predation at St. John’s Preparatory School recently took his life. I thought of this as I reflected on my own experience as a victim of sexual assault while at St. John’s Prep and how it took me 30 years before I could openly discuss my experience without fearing shame, remorse, guilt or reprisal.” – Maj John Donovan

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The Perpetrator’s Psalm


Courtesy: YouTube

Credibly accused Saint John’s Abbey monk perpetrator Father Anthony Ruff wrote a psalm that will be used during Pope Francis’ visit to the United States later this week.

While Father Ruff’s psalm has received some attention (Saint Cloud Times,  Saint Cloud DioceseCatholic Herald), credible allegations of sexual misconduct against Father Ruff have yet to be publicly acknowledged by the leadership at Saint John’s Abbey.

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Andert, Taylor, Ward, Backous “Under Investigation”

An investigation into misconduct by Father Tom Andert is reportedly underway [ Link ]. The results of three previously announced “investigations” into alleged abuse by three monk perpetrators (Fathers Dan Ward, Mel Taylor and Timothy Backous) have yet to be make public.

Will the investigation into Father Tom Andert be any different?

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No. 2 Leader at St. John’s Abbey Steps Aside on Abuse Claim

20150820_Andert(KSTP – 5) St. John’s Abbey says its No. 2 leader, the Rev. Tom Andert, has stepped aside because of an allegation of a sex crime involving a former student at Saint John’s Preparatory School.

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Klassen to Saint John’s Friends, Faculty and Staff

Fri 8/21/2015 12:31 PM

Dear Saint John’s Friends, Faculty and Staff,

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Longtime leader at St. John’s Abbey accused of sex abuse

(StarTribune) The Rev. Thomas Andert, the prior at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, has been removed from his leadership position following an allegation of student sex abuse.

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(MPR) Monastery prior steps aside pending investigation

Andert_1979The prior of the monastery at Saint John’s Abbey has stepped aside because of an allegation of sexual misconduct involving a former student at Saint John’s Preparatory School, according to a spokesperson for the abbey in Collegeville, Minn.

View entire MPR article… Here

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Prep School Staff Members Take a Stand

On Wednesday, six brave staff members at the Saint John’s Preparatory School took a stand. The six:

Jennifer Whitehead – Guidance/Counseling
Sally Battig – Executive Administrative Assistant to the Headmaster
Jeffrey R Engholm – Music Teacher
Sandra L. Ernst – Student Accounts and Records
Mary Jo Leighton – Associate Director of Admissions/United States
Jeremy Meyer – Associate Director of Admissions/International Recruitment

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Kettler to Address Some, Not All, Perps

Bishop_Donald_Kettler_of_Fairbanks_Alaska_File_Photo_CNA_CNA_9_20_13According to the Diocese of St. Cloud web site [ View ] , “Bishop Donald Kettler will hold a series of listening sessions in August following allegations of sexual abuse committed by three priests of the diocese.”

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Questionable Data Used as Basis for Prep School Press Release

Headmaster Father Jonathan Licari, OSB and Saint John’s Preparatory School reportedly use five anonymous online reviews as basis for a glowing press release.

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Protected: Rev. Ian Dommer Removed from Prep School

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Andert Will Attend Reunion This Weekend, His Victim Will Not

Ben will not be attending his 20-year reunion, however. He committed suicide in December of 2014.

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Abbey Releases Eckroth Obituary Minus Allegations

Despite the abbey’s well-researched decisions to add Father Richard Eckroth’s name to several lists of monk with allegations of sexual abuse involving minors [ View ], the abbey’s obituary for Father Eckroth [ View ] made no mention of his misconduct.

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Monk repeatedly accused of sex abuse dies at abbey

(SC Times) St. John’s Abbey monk the Rev. Richard Eckroth, who was repeatedly accused of sexually abusing children, died Sunday at the abbey. He was 88.

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St. John’s monk accused of sexual abuse dies at 88

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (KMSP) – A St. John’s monk suspected of sexually abusing several children died on Sunday at the age of 88. Father Richard Eckroth is on a list of credibly accused clerics from St. John’s Abbey and the Diocese of St. Cloud.

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Jury acquits ex-priest accused of sexual abuse in Hastings church

“Proving beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime occurred 24-26 years ago without significant corroborating physical evidence of the crime itself is always a difficult task,” Backstrom said. “Without such corroborating evidence the jury must render its decision based primarily upon one person’s word against that of another.” Jeff Anderson, an attorney representing Hoefgen’s accuser in a civil case, said he was not surprised by the verdict. The jury was never informed about other accusations of child abuse against Hoefgen, he said, nor of his treatment at St. Luke Institute in Maryland, a facility that often treats clergy sex offenders.

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Father Richard Eckroth Dies; Abbey Silent

1971_Eckroth_CabinFather Richard Eckroth, a monk from Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota (USA) reportedly died at 4:25pm on Sunday in the abbey’s retirement home. Eckroth’s funeral is scheduled for 3pm on Friday, May 29, 2015.

Father Richard Eckroth is one of the Saint John’s Abbey most notorious alleged sex offenders [ View] and was the subject a 2002 article (“Sins of a Father: ‘Sauna Kids’ Abuse“) in INSIGHT Magazine.

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Photos: Saint John’s Prep





Former Hastings priest to be tried this week in sex abuse case

A former Hastings priest accused of sexual abuse 25 years ago is set to go on trial this week.

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