The archdiocese of Minneapolis-St. Paul has had a bit of a problem with its priests raping children trusted to the Church’s care. 37 in total had substantiated claims of sexual abuse levied against them, and now that number has jumped to 55:
The Twin Cities archdiocese and the law offices of Jeff Anderson issued a joint statement Thursday disclosing names of 17 priests with “substantiated” claims of sexual abuse of a minor — including four previously unknown to the public.
The names bring to 55 the number of priests deemed to have substantiated claims of child sexual abuse within the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Ten of the 17 priests have died, “but the pain they caused is very much alive,” Archbishop John Nienstedt said in a news release.
“I am profoundly saddened and sorry for the harm clergy sexual abuse has caused victims and survivors, their families and the community.”
He is profoundly sorry that a scouring of the archdiocese’s internal documents revealed the child rapists. The diocese is so sorry, in fact, that they resisted the release of the names of the guilty until they were sued and compelled to do so as part of this settlement:
The joint statement comes 10 days after the archdiocese and Anderson’s office, which represents victims of clergy sex abuse, announced the settlement of a lawsuit that had disgorged more than 50,000 pages of priest personnel documents going back decades, and a new child protection plan.The disclosures Thursday were part of the Oct. 13 settlement, Anderson said.
Yeah, terribly sorry. Seems to me that if they were really sorry they would’ve done something with this information while the perpetrators were still alive without having their hand forced by a lawsuit. That new child protection plan? That could’ve happened decades ago.
But admitting some of your priests sexually assaulted children is bad for your PR which, in its history, has been a little more important to the Catholic Church than justice for the children who were wronged in its care.
Does this establish that all priests rape kids? No. Does this establish that all Catholics turn a blind eye to child rape? No (though one can only imagine why they continue to tithe when they know some of that money will go toward defending the Church’s PR when they’re, pardon the pun, guilty-as-sin). It does confirm a moral failing by the Church that it has been making for decades if not centuries. And it confirms that even to this day the Church is not a moral authority, not that it ever was, even though it’s big on asserting such a status to anyone who will listen.