(KARE 11) COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. — St. John’s Abbey has released an updated list of monks “who likely have offended against minors.” The new list contains three names that have not been on previous lists.
All told there are 18 men on the list; seven monks who are deceased, two who are no longer with the Abbey, and nine who continue to live there under “supervised safety plans.”
“This list reflects our best efforts to identify those who likely have offended against minors,” Brother Aelred Senna wrote in a statement.
Though the Abbey’s Spokesperson and Abbot were traveling to Indiana when KARE 11 requested comment, a brother with the Abbey did walk us through the safety plan.
In conjunction with Project Pathfinder in St. Paul, the nine monks receive professional counseling, supervision and are subject to regular meetings with a supervisor. Their individual plans are reviewed by external professionals, and by members of the independent External Review Board, which investigated and created the new list of likely offenders.
“It’s an honor system, and we’ve seen how well the honor system worked for these monks in the past,” Pat Marker told KARE 11 when asked about the safety plan. Marker was one of the first to come forward with an allegation against a monk several decades ago. The monk in question continues to live at the Abbey and a lawsuit regarding the case was settled years ago.
Since 2002, Marker has run a website called behindthepinecurtain.com. He not only tracks the released lists of monks, he consults with other people alleging abuse. He says he’s spoken to more than 100 victims. He also says the three new names on the monk list are connected to at least five victims that he knows of.
“It’s a tremendous relief to know that it’s no longer their word against the perpetrators, that the Abbey finally believes that their story is credible and that they don’t have to carry that torch alone,” he said by phone.
Marker says he was part of the original external review board but quit because he believed it was withholding names from the public. He has mixed feelings about the list released on Monday. “In the big picture, this list is a step in the right direction. Just keep in mind, this list is not comprehensive and this list will grow,” he concluded.
Both the Chief Deputy of the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department and the Stearns County Attorney told KARE 11 they do not have any cases connected to the names on the list.
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