Marker’s Letter to Klassen and Flynn

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In 1997, the Archdiocese and Abbey learned of allegations of sexual abuse against Fr. Michael Bik. The public and potential victims should have been notified. They were not and Fr. Michael Bik continued his work at St. John’s Prep School.

Full text of Letter Shown Below

Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2006

Archbishop Harry Flynn
Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
226 Summit Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55102
(651) 291-4400

Abbot John Klassen
St. John’s Abbey
31802 County Road 159
Collegeville, MN 56321-2015
(320) 363-2544

Archbishop Flynn and Abbot Klassen,

In 1997, the Archdiocese and Abbey learned of allegations of sexual abuse against Fr. Michael Bik. The public and potential victims should have been notified. They were not and Fr. Michael Bik continued his work at St. John’s Prep School.

In 2002, the Abbey settled several lawsuits against its members. Meetings were held with the students and staff at the Prep School. Students were told to see Fr. Michael Bik for support.

In 2003, the Review Board at St. John’s Abbey asked about all allegations against members of the community. Bik’s name was not brought forward until months later.

Two months ago, an announcement went out in the St. John’s Preparatory alumni publication with a phone number for victim support services – but listed none of the offenders. While other Board members applauded this as ‘progress’, I saw it as a missed opportunity. Two weeks ago, the local public learned of Bik’s name after a press release was sent to a single newspaper.

Last week, after another request to notify the greater public and all potential victims of Michael Bik (and Bruce Wollmering) was put off, I resigned my position on the Review Board.

Today, I am asking you, Abbot John Klassen, to make public your reasons for waiting nine years to publicly disclose allegations of sexual abuse against Michael Bik. Why was he allowed to continue teaching for five of those years.

Today, I am asking you, Archbishop Harry Flynn, to make public your reasons for never disclosing allegations of sexual abuse against Michael Bik.

Today, I am asking that you each make public your plan to notify every possible victim of Michael Bik. This includes – but is not limited to – parishioners and students in the Twin Cities, and students at the Prep School and University (graduated and withdrawn), Leadership Camp participants, and local track meet athletes.

Today, in an effort to inform the public of the allegations against Bik and others in the St. John’s community, I am launching the “Behind The Pine Curtain” web site (http://www.behindthepinecurtain.com).

The web site will provide the public with information and victims with a forum for healing and growth. I created this tool to help victims begin – or continue – the long journey toward healing and protection.

The truth and greater disclosure, from each of you, is part of that journey.

Please make an effort.

Sincerely,

Patrick J Marker
info@behindthepinecurtain.com
BehindThePineCurtain.com

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Topics: Bruce Wollmering, Harry Flynn, John Klassen, Michael Bik, Pat Marker, Review Board, St. John's Prep

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