Regarding the Abbey’s Response: One Sentence Stands Out


We have been forthcoming and acknowledged the occasions when members of our community harmed others. – Saint John’s Abbey (2013) [ View ]

Has the Abbey been forthcoming?


In March of 2011, and as part of a settlement, Saint John’s Abbey agreed to post a letter on its web site. The letter included named 18 monk perpetrators. The letter was removed from the Abbey web site in the summer of 2012.

The Saint John’s Abbey Web Site now claims that 23 members of the Abbey have credible allegations of misconduct. Who are the 23?

Even though the Abbey announced in 2006 that Robert Blumeyer was credibly accused of misconduct and they settled a complaint involving at least one Blumeyer’s victims, his name didn’t appear on the 2011 letter/list.

Compare the Abbey’s response to the news of Father Blumeyer’s misconduct with their response to a ninth victim of Father Allen Tarlton.

The Archdiocese of New York reported (to the Abbey) sexual misconduct by Father Agustine Cerezo Murillo before 2007.  Cerezo’s name didn’t appear on the 2011 letter/list and has never been made public

When Abbot Klassen claimed, in 2004, that there was “nothing in the files” regarding sexual misconduct by Fr. Francisco Schulte, Schulte had been on restriction for at least twelve years. The Abbey covered up abuse by Fr. Francisco Schulte, refusing to contact potential victims, while calling on the victims of other monks (like Robert Blumeyer, above) to come forward.

Father Angelo Zankl fathered at least one child. According to the family, the mother was a minor from St. Joseph, Minnesota. She gave the child up for adoption in Fergus Falls. Zankl’s name didn’t appear on the 2011 letter/list and has never been made public.

Try to find any news release regarding sex abuse on the Abbey’s news archive page. There have been several releases and statements regarding abuse, including some shown here.

Last year, an alleged 1975 victim of Fathers Bruce Wollmering and Finian McDonald made a formal complaint.  According to the victim, coaches Pat Haws and John Gagliardi were made aware of the alleged misconduct prior to the student’s suicide attempt in November of 1975.

Abbey received a complaint regarding Father Bruce Wollmering in 2003. However, Abbot Klassen didn’t allow Wollmering’s name to be released to the public until 2006, in part, because of the effect that such an announcement would have on recruitment and the capital campaign. Wollmering had sexual contact with at least one student between 2003 and 2006.

Father Tom Andert has been credibly accused of misconduct. He is now the Abbey’s prior.

Brother Robert Burke was asked to leave the Abbey (after sexual misconduct with a student) and spent over 20 years working with the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Father Dan Ward… Credibly accused, many times over.


How is community defined?

Complaints have been made regarding sexual misconduct by lay faculty members Terry DeSutter, Roger Julkowski and Steve Pavkovich as well as visiting religious Br. Bede Parry, Fr. Anthony Smithwick and Fr. Paul GoPaul. Certainly, seminarian Michael Weber was part of the community.



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Topics: Angelo Zankl, Anthony Smithwick, Bede Parry, Bruce Wollmering, Dan Ward, Francisco Schulte, John Gagliardi, John Klassen, Jonathan Licari, Michael Weber, Pat Haws, Paul GoPaul, Robert Blumeyer, Robert Burke, Roger Julkowski, Steve Pavkovich, Terry DeSutter, Tom Andert

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