Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Document shows archdiocese spent heavily to oppose child abuse reporting law

Author:

The Star Tribune reports that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis led lobbying efforts to shoot down a new state law extending time limits for reporting child sexual abuse.

The Child Victims Act, which passed both houses last session with only three votes against, eliminated the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases. It also created a three-year window for some previously barred claims to be litigated. At least 18 cases against Catholic clergy and leaders have been filed since the law took effect last May.

The Star Tribune said it obtained a document from the archdiocese that detailed $830,145 in church spending to support the Minnesota Religious Council from mid-2001 to mid-2008. The newspaper quoted a source who said said nearly all of the money went to pay lobbyists opposing the law.

Lobbying records show the Minnesota Religious Council added three lobbyists in the weeks before its passage. Among those hired were Cullen Sheehan, who ran Norm Coleman's last U.S. Senate campaign and veteran lobbyist Ted Grindal.

Opponents of the bill said the Child Victims Act would be unfair to organizations who "don't know the facts," unlike the perpetrators themselves, who do. Opponents expressed concern that vague levels of proof could be used to bring claims against defenseless institutions.

But proponents argued successfully that the law was intended to stop institutional coverups of child abuse.

Archdiocese spokesman Jim Accurso said the Minnesota Religious Council was formed so that faiths could work together on issues that affect them. But a spokesman for ELCA - the largest non-Catholic member of the Council - said its bishops were never consulted about lobbying or the associated costs.

“We’ve never received a bill,” said Rev. Peter Rogness. “None of us have it in our budget.”

Several priests and archdiocesan leaders resigned their posts in the past month after a whistleblower told Minnesota Public Radio News that the archdiocese had been covering up clergy misconduct for many years.

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

KAT sets a franchise record, leaves early in loss to Wizards

Towns fell on his back in the final minutes of a loss in Washington.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man shot by police in Forest Lake dies from injuries

It was one of two police shootings in the Twin Cities on the same day, both of which proved fatal.

Dylan Bundy

Report: Twins agree to deal with Dylan Bundy

The Twins signed the right-hander with a lockout imminent.

Flickr - face masks covid pole - Ivan Radic

'Everyone should really be masking up' in public, Malcolm says

The health commissioner said residents have gotten "a little bit lax" with some protective measures.

Byron Buxton

Byron Buxton believes he's the best player in baseball

"Nobody [does] the things that I do. I know that."

unsplash medical marijuana

Edibles coming to Minnesota's medical marijuana program

MDH also announced it will not add anxiety as qualifying condition.

plow, snowplow, snow

Plowable snow possible this weekend in Minnesota

Up to half a foot of snow could fall within the heaviest band.

Best Buy - jjbers, Flickr

Police reveal new details about 'coordinated' Best Buy thefts

A large group stole thousands of dollars in merchandise from three Twin Cities Best Buy stores.

Seven Points exterior - 2

New tenant revealed for former Libertine spot in Uptown

The space will combine playful art offerings with a restaurant.

white Christmas

What are Minnesota's chances of a white Christmas this year?

The Twin Cities averages a white Christmas about 3 out of every 4 years.

ilhan omar press conference voicemail screengrab 11.30.21

'You will not live much longer b***': Rep. Omar shares threatening voicemail

Omar's office received the call hours after Rep. Boebert posted her video about the MN congresswoman.

Screen Shot 2021-12-01 at 11.24.09 AM

ESPN's 'Booger' makes fun of Wild fans' record cup snake

He's the same guy who thought the "Minneapolis Miracle" was bad for the Vikings.

Related