Archdiocese prepares to release list of priests credibly accused of abuse

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The list of priests who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors will be released later on Thursday and will include news that those priests have served in a total of 92 parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The Associated Press reported that it has obtained an email sent by the archdiocese that explains that each of those parishes have had at least one priest on the list assigned to them at some point. MPR News points out that the 29 accused priests have served at nearly half of the 188 parishes in the archdiocese.

The archdiocese's e mail is being sent to prepare parish priests and parish leaders for the disclosure of the list, which is expected to be publicly released on Thursday. The archdiocese has previously indicated that the majority of the allegations that led to priests being on the list relate to reported incidents that happened from the mid-1950s to the 1980s.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said it plans to release the names on a page of the archdiocese’s website and in its newspaper, “The Catholic Spirit.” The disclosure comes after numerous delays, when a Ramsey County judge ordered the archdiocese to release the names of all priests with credible allegations of child sexual abuse who had been included on a sealed list. The 33 names were disclosed to attorneys in a 2009 clergy sexual abuse lawsuit, but a judge had ordered that they remain sealed.

A spokesman for the archdiocese said the list will not include four of the 33 names. Three of the priests have allegations against them that church officials believe to be unsubstantiated and one is not being released because there is no record that he served in the archdiocese.

Meanwhile, the Winona Daily News reports that the Diocese of Winona will also release a list of the names of 13 priests credibly accused of sexually abusing minors in that jurisdiction, but not until the Dec. 17 deadline set by the court. The information, like that in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, will include each priest’s name, date of birth, year of ordination, whether the priest is alive or deceased, all parishes where the priest served within the diocese, current ministerial status and most current address.

Additionally, the two dioceses have until Jan. 6 to release names of priests accused since 2004, the year there was a nationwide effort by dioceses to identify abusive priests that led to the lists.

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