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Court: Archdiocese must release list of priests accused of abuse

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A Ramsey County judge has ordered the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to release the names of 33 priests accused of sexually abusing minors. Judge John Van de North also ruled that the Diocese of Winona must release the names of the 13 priests accused there.

The Associated Press reports the list includes 29 priests from a 2004 list of priests deemed to have been credibly accused of abuse. The others on the list include a priest who had a substantiated claim leveled against him later, a member of a religious order and three priests for whom the archdiocese says the allegations can’t be substantiated. MPR reported that nine of the original 33 priests are dead and 26 are archdiocesan priests.

That information must be disclosed by Dec. 17.

Earlier, the Associated Press reported that Archbishop John Nienstedt said he would disclose the names, locations and status of all living archdiocesan priests who have substantiated claims of sexual abuse against them. He has said he needed court permission because the list is under a protective order; there have been several delays in the release of the list. Attorneys for victims of abuse have insisted that the archdiocese didn't need permission to release its own information.

Last month, the archdiocese hired a Los Angeles consulting firm to review its priest files. At the time that Kinsale Management Consulting was hired, it was reported that their investigators would begin their work going through church files in early December.

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