Two monks from Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota (USA), Father Jonathan Licari and Father Dan Ward, have been linked to the sexual abuse scandal at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Both monks were involved in the Father John Bussman matter.
According to a 1995 memo to Archbishop Harry J. Flynn, Bussmann was sexually involved with a young woman while in Stillwater. The same memo claims that Bussman “is a pathological liar.”
According to the same 1995 memo:
“Father Dan Ward, OSB, began assisting [John Bussman] about [March, 1991], and prepared documents to send to Rome for an appeal.”
Bussman was ultimately reinstated.
Then Bussman reoffended.
In March of 2003, Archbishop Harry J. Flynn wrote:
“I have received reports from several sources indicating a strong possibility that Rev. John Bussman has engaged in behavior violative of his priestly authority and of his priestly celibacy,”
On March 19, 2003:
“I, Harry J. Flynn, Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, hereby appoint the Reverend Jonathan Licari, O.S.B., J.C.D, as Promoter of Justice in the penal case involving the Reverend John Bussman.”
What is a Promoter of Justice?
Canon 1430: A promoter of justice is to be appointed in a diocese for contentious cases which can endanger the public good and for penal cases; the promoter of justice is bound by office to provide for the public good.
Two days after Licari was appointed, the archdiocese entered into an agreement with Bussman. The agreement included the following language:
“… the Archdiocese will offer a letter of reference for Reverend Bussman, on his request, that favorably reflects his leadership of the Church of Mary, Queen of Peace. Furthermore, the Archdiocese will not disclose to prospective employers its belief that Reverend Bussman was sexually involved with adult women, in violation of his promise of celibacy …”
The document was signed on March 21, 2003 by Reverend John Bussman and Reverend Kevin McDonough.
In March of 2004, Bussman was charged with sexual abuse:
“One year after leaving the priesthood, John J. Bussmann, former pastor of Mary Queen of Peace congregations in Rogers and Fletcher, has been charged with sexual abuse. Bussmann, 50, was charged with third-, fourth- and fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct (all felonies) and a misdemeanor count of indecent exposure. He was also charged with felony theft for allegedly taking money from one of his victims. He is being held in the Hennepin County Jail.” [ View ]