(SC Times) A listening session Sunday at Church of the Holy Spirit regarding Michael Weber lasted three hours, and the St. Cloud diocese has scheduled a second session for Dec. 19.
About 35 people attended along with eight counselors and the four-person Diocesan Response Team, said Jane Marrin, member of the response team and diocese spokeswoman.
The session was called after the diocese received what it called credible allegations against Weber, who was a deacon at Holy Spirit in late 1969. Weber, who went on to an award-winning career in child protection, is accused of sexually abusing at least three boys in the late 1960s. Weber, 67, is a Foley native and St. John’s University graduate who lives in the Twin Cities.
The second session was scheduled because “the statements and the concerns were so compelling,” Marrin said.
There were statements directly about Weber and many about what the diocese knew and when and what was done, she said.
“A majority of the concern was about why the diocese didn’t do anything sooner,” she said.
Rick Stolpman, who filed a police report last month alleging Weber abused him at Weber’s family’s Foley home more than 40 years ago, wanted to know why St. John’s wasn’t represented at the meeting. Weber was with the diocese until the early 1970s, but he worked as a mentor in a College of St. Benedict/St. John’s entrepreneurship program until the allegations last month. And St. John’s knew before last month about Weber, Stolpman said.
“We want some answers. They knew,” he said about St. John’s. “I don’t fault the people who are at Holy Spirit now. It’s really not their fault.”
Weber has not responded to media requests.
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St. Cloud diocese sets 2nd listening session on former deacon accused of abuse
Dec. 5, 2011
St. Cloud Times