Deadline to release 2nd list of accused priests extended by judge

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A Ramsey County District Court judge granted the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis a 30-day extension Friday to release a second list of priests accused of abusing minors.

After the first list of "credibly accused" priests compiled in 2004 was released last month, a Ramsey County District Court order requires the archdiocese to release a second list of the accused after 2004, which now must be filed by Feb. 5, the Star Tribune reports.

Attorneys for the archdiocese argued Friday that releasing a second list of all the accused priests -- regardless of whether the allegations are considered "credible" by the church -- could harm the reputation of innocent priests. The archdiocese requested an extension to investigate abuse claims.

The Diocese of Winona was also asked to release a second list.

The newspaper says the court order is a result of a lawsuit filed by a victim alleging clergy abuse. The victim's attorney, Mike Finnegan of Anderson & Associates, asked the jude to deny the archdiocese's request.

In a letter to the judge, Finnegan says letting the archdiocese decide whether an allegation is credible or not "is a dangerous thing," the Star Tribune reports.

The St. Paul Police Department has been investigating clergy abuse cases and said last month that the archdiocese has not been cooperative.

St. Paul Police Chief Tom Smith told reporters that when asked to conduct voluntary interviews with members of the archdiocese during past investigatons, his department was told "no."

The news conference stemmed from allegations brought against Archbishop John Nienstedt that claim he inappropriately touched a boy in 2009. The investigation is still ongoing.

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