St. John’s Abbey releases files on 18 monks accused of abuse


(MPR) As part of a lawsuit settlement, St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minn., on Tuesday released the personnel files of 18 monks it says were credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.

St. John’s settled the lawsuit last spring with Troy Bramlage, a St. Cloud man who says he was abused by a monk when he was a 14-year-old prep school student in 1977.

The abbey is part of a sprawling 2,700-acre property in Collegeville that includes St. John’s University and St. John’s Preparatory School.

The files include everything from monks’ personal correspondence, to work assignments and psychological evaluations.

But Bramlage said Abbot John Klassen is holding back information about other alleged perpetrators.

“The only reason he’s turning over these files is because we forced him to as part of the lawsuit,” Bramlage said. “There are still more files that need to come out.”

Klassen said the move is the abbey’s latest step in a three-decades long reckoning with such allegations.

“We see this as not an endpoint, but in fact as part of a process that we’re moving toward transparency and, ultimately, real credibility with our survivors,” he said.

He said the last known incident of abuse at the prep school was in 1986.

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Matt Sepic
January 19, 2016

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Topics: 2015 File Release, 2016 Abbey File Release, John Klassen

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