Archdiocese Facing New Allegations Of Priest Abuse

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(WCCO/AP) — The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is facing new accusations of child sexual abuse by a priest.

Those claims are part of a new lawsuit filed by a Twin Cities man who said he was molested by Father Francis Hoefgen, who had already admitted to sexually abusing children. Lawyers held a news conference Tuesday on the matter and are asking the church to hand over more information.

The plaintiff in this suit wants the names of clerics and priests who have been credibly accused of molesting children. Attorneys named the priest at the center of this lawsuit, Hoefgen, and explained why he should not have still been in the priesthood.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday says Rev. Francis Hoefgen molested the man from 1989 through 1992 when the victim was 10 to 13 years old. Hoefgen was at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton church at the time.

The lawsuit alleges defendants should have known Hoefgen was a danger because he molested another boy in 1983 at St. Boniface rectory in Cold Spring. Hoefgen admitted the abuse to police in a signed statement but wasn’t charged. Lawyer Jeff Anderson said Father Hoefgen admitted to police that he molested a child back in 1984. Anderson said Hoefgen was sent for an evaluation at St. Luke’s Institute, and returned to the ministry in 1985 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Hastings.

That’s where the victim behind Tuesday’s lawsuit said Father Hoefgen molested him. St. John’s Abbey, St. Luke’s Institute in Maryland and Father Hoefgen are named in this lawsuit in addition to the Diocese.

“Fran is the lion, these guys are the lion tamers and they turned him loose on Hastings,” said Patrick Wall, a former priest and monk. “That’s the sad part, that’s the greatest sadness I feel, they knew.”

The Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul has not yet released a statement on the lawsuit as it’s under investigation.

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Archdiocese Facing New Allegations Of Priest Abuse
WCCO/AP
November 19, 2013

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Topics: Fran Hoefgen, Jeff Anderson, St. Luke's

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