Abbot who admitted to abuse dies


COLLEGEVILLE (AP) – The Rev. John Eidenschink, a former St. John’s abbot who admitted he sexually abused two abbey monks, has died.

Eidenschink, born in Detroit Lakes, died at the abbey’s retirement center on Saturday, abbey spokesman the Rev. William Skudlarek said. He was 89.

“He’d been failing for awhile,” Skudlarek said.

Eidenschink admitted he sexually abused one monk before he was elected abbot – the highest-ranking member of the monastic community – in 1971 and another during his eight-year tenure.

“He expressed his sorrow for the harm he had done, and I’m sure made his peace with God, and, to the degree it was possible, with those he had injured and harmed,” Skudlarek said. “He expressed his sorrow, his repentance, his plea for forgiveness.”

The abbey is thankful for the good Eidenschink did during his lifetime, Skudlarek said.

“He was a very conscientious and dedicated person in the tasks that were given to him,” Skudlarek said. “He was certainly much more than the dark side, the negative side that was also there.”

Abbey leaders were told Friday that Eidenschink was dying, Skudlarek said.

“It’s a difficult and painful time,” Skudlarek said. “It’s a mixture of gratitude for the good he did, and sorrow for the harm he did.”

The abbot directs about 196 monks who sponsor and work at St. John’s University, the Preparatory School and The Liturgical Press. St. John’s Abbey monks also serve in parishes, hospitals and retirement homes.

Abbot who admitted to abuse dies
Updated: 06/21/2004 10:36:19 AM

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Topics: BS, John Eidenschink, William Skudlarek

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