Updated:
Original:

Report: Archdiocese 'stealth' accounts paid out $11 million

Author:

A new Minnesota Public Radio News investigation has revealed a "stealth financial system" in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis that allowed for payments for numerous infractions – including the removal of priests who committed child sex abuse – without attracting attention.

MPR says it analyzed thousands of private internal archdiocese documents, and found internal financial reports that showed the archdiocese used the stealth accounts to pay out nearly $11 million from 2002 to 2011 – which equated to about 3 percent of the archdiocese's overall revenues during that time period.

The costs were tied to suspected priest misconduct under former Archbishop Harry Flynn and his successor, Archbishop John Nienstedt, MPR reports.

According to MPR, the secret account also provided financial support for children fathered by priests and other legal settlements. The secrecy, however, also left the archdiocese vulnerable to embezzlement.

MPR says separate accounts were set up to denote the type of behavior involved: Account 1-515 paid costs to priests connected with child sex abuse, while 1-516 paid costs relating the abuse of adults.

MPR's story was part of an ongoing in-depth probe of priest abuse in Minnesota.

The MPR report comes as the archdiocese prepares to release its second list of priests accused of abusing minors next month.

The first list of “credibly accused” priests, which was compiled in 2004, was released in December. It publicly disclosed the names of more than 30 priests who have been accused of sexually abusing minors.

The second list, due on Feb. 5, will contain the names of priests accused since 2004.

Lawyers for the archdiocese earlier this month argued 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.

KSTP says priests around the state are now considering legal maneuvers to keep their names off the list.

One attorney, Marshall Tanick, told the station he's been contacted by two clergy members who want to remain anonymous.

Tanick said priests on the list may try to anonymously petition the court to be excluded from the list.

A spokesperson with the archdiocese told the station it was not aware of priests talking with Tannick.

The station says critics are concerned the maneuver may prevent future church disclosures. But lawyer Patrick Wall said the move will also protect innocent priests.

"It's pretty clear that the bishops are willing to throw whatever priest under the bus that they need to in order to protect themselves," Wall, a former priest, told KSTP.

Next Up

Dean Evason

Wild fall flat against Predators, lose first game of season

The Wild couldn't stay out of the penalty box in a 5-2 loss.

Screen Shot 2021-10-24 at 10.11.36 AM

Search for Wisconsin woman whose vehicle was found near Hinckley

Ashley L. Miller, 33, was reported missing on Sep. 24 after her vehicle was found without her in it.

Dak Prescott

Report: Dak Prescott will be 'ready to go' for matchup with Vikings

The Dallas quarterback is expected to be available for next Sunday's showdown.

Eddie Rosario

Where Eddie Rosario's championship series heroics rank since 2000

The former Twin put together an all-timer to help the Braves reach the World Series.

plane, Piper PA-32

2 dead after plane crashes near residence in rural Wisconsin

The aircraft also struck the house during the crash.

Screen Shot 2021-10-23 at 9.38.43 PM

1 dead after van crashes and lands on Highway 100 in Brooklyn Center

Northbound Highway 100 was shut down following the crash Saturday night.

Jess Peterson

Woman killed in crash ID'd as 'bad ass biker chick' with 'giving spirit'

The 30-year-old died in a motorcycle crash on Oct. 19.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves' defense fuels win over Pelicans

The Wolves' have bought in on the defensive end as part of a 2-0 start.

Minnesota Wild

Ryan Hartman's OT goal helps Wild stay undefeated

The Wild improved to 4-0 with a win over the Ducks.

Mar'Keise Irving / Gopher Football

Gophers pound Maryland to stay in Big Ten West race

Four different players scored a rushing touchdown in a 34-16 victory over Maryland.

Related