(Star Tribune) Twin Cities Archdiocese releases names of 19 men suspected of sexually abusing minors

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The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on Friday afternoon released the names of 19 deceased or former priests or members of religious orders against whom it now acknowledges “substantiated claims of sexual abuse of minors.”

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Many of the names have long been in the public domain, released by their religious orders on their own lists of members credibly accused of abuse, named in victims’ lawsuits or on websites compiled by abuse survivors. But it appears to be the first time the archdiocese has released their names in relation to its own jurisdiction.

In a statement on the archdiocese’s website, Tim O’Malley, director of the archdiocese’s Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment, wrote, “Eighteen of the men have been disclosed by their diocese or religious order based on alleged abuse outside of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, but had, at some point, served or spent time in this archdiocese. The other man served in the archdiocese until his death in the early 1960s and is being disclosed now based on recent interviews with victims/survivors who courageously came forward.”

Tom Halden, director of communications for the archdiocese, said late Friday that he had no comment beyond what the news release said.

Fourteen of the men on the new list have died. None who survives now serves in any pastoral capacity.

The names were added to a longer list of about 70 other names on the archdiocese’s website.

The 18 names listed by the archdiocese as previously released by their religious orders:

Members of the Crosier order: Cornelius DeVenster, founder of the Crosier Seminary in Onamia, Minn., who died in 1988; Thomas O’Brien, who was removed from the ministry in 2002 and defrocked in 2008; Michael Paquet, who was removed from the ministry in 2002 and dismissed from the order in 2005; Urban Schmitt, who died in 1999, and James Moeglein, who was removed from the ministry in 2002.

Members of the Benedictine order, most of whom served at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville: Othmar Hohmann, who died in 1980; James Phillips, who was placed on restricted status in 2002 after having served as chaplain at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale from 1998-2002; Dunstan Moorse, a St. John’s monk who worked in both the Twin Cities and St. Cloud dioceses, and Pirmin Wendt, who died in 1982.

Members of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate order: Paul Kabat, who died in 1999; Thomas Meyer, who died in 2012; Orville Munie, who died in 1993, and Emil Twardochleb, who died in 1975.

Priests of the New Ulm Diocese: John Gleason, who died in 1998; David Roney, who died in 2003; Michael Skoblik, who died in 1989; Charles Stark, who died in 1991, and John Murphy, who died in 2001.

Disclosed by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis: Vincent Worzalla, who died in 1962.

Like many dioceses nationwide, the Twin Cities archdiocese has been beleaguered and transformed by years of revelations about sexual abuse of children by clergy. In January 2015, it filed for bankruptcy, citing the number of abuse claims made possible through the Minnesota Child Victims Act, which opened a three-year window for older abuse cases to be heard in civil court. That window closed in 2016.

Staff writer Pamela Miller contributed to this report.

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Twin Cities Archdiocese releases names of 19 men suspected of sexually abusing minors
Karen Zamora
Star Tribune
November 4, 2017

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Topics: Dunstan Moorse, Jim Phillips, Othmar Hohmann, Pirmim Wendt

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