Member of abbey review board resigns in protest

COLLEGEVILLE – A member of the external review board formed as part of St. John’s Abbey’s response to allegations of sexual misconduct has resigned in protest of what he said was a delay in publicly disclosing accusations of sexual abuse.

Today, Pat Marker quit the nine-member board that meets monthly and reports on issues ranging from assessment and supervision of offenders to assistance for victims.

On July 28, the Collegeville abbey publicized allegations of sexual misconduct in the 1970s and 1980s made against three of its monks, one of whom is deceased.

Allegations against the Rev. Michael Bik, 57, were made six years ago, in 1997, and involved accusations he abused two teen-age boys in the 1970s – before he joined the Catholic abbey and before his ordination.

“It’s taken far too long … and my biggest worry is that since we first found out about Bik, on the board, somebody’s been hurt since,” Marker said.

The 41-year-old Internet consultant from Mount Vernon, Wash., has flown to Minnesota monthly since he joined the board three years ago.

“The fact that I’ve been accused of being part of the problem by a caller who asked me why it took so long to come clean makes me feel I need to step down,” Marker said.

The Rev. William Skudlarek, abbey spokesman, declined to comment on Marker’s resignation because he said he was not aware of it until contacted by the St. Cloud Times.

Bik worked at St. John’s Preparatory School for five years after the accusation was made. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a national advocacy group victims of clergy molestation, called that “reprehensible.”

Bik, 57, and the Rev. Bruce Wollmering, 65, who also worked at the school, live at the monastery but now work under restrictions. Neither could be reached for comment.

“It’s a religious community … but one that is as political as any organization that I’ve ever been a part of,” said Marker, a St. John’s clergy molestation victim himself.

“My plea is for the abbot to immediately contact alumni from the prep school and the university with a personal letter,” Marker said.

Accusations against the late Rev. Robert Blumeyer were made in September and involved a teen-age boy he knew when he was an assistant pastor at a Wayzata parish in 1969.

Latest news: Member of abbey review board resigns in protest
By Frank Lee fclee@stcloudtimes.com
August 18. 2006 6:13PM

Topics: Bruce Wollmering, Michael Bik, Pat Marker, Review Board, Robert Blumeyer, SNAP, William Skudlarek

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