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St. Cloud diocese releases list of 33 accused priests

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The Diocese of St. Cloud released its list of 33 clergy accused of sexual abuse against minors Friday afternoon.

Bishop Donald Kettler released the names of the clergy involved in instances of "likely claims of sexual abuse of minors," according to a St. Cloud Times report.

The list includes 33 priests, 21 of which are dead. It was released Friday after a lawsuit that was filed against the diocese demanding it release the names of 26 priests who had been accused.

According to WJON, a Sartell man and attorney's Jeff Anderson and Mike Bryant filed the lawsuit against the diocese to force it to release the names.

Diocese communications consultant Jane Marrin told the St. Cloud Times, "We've been working on this for a couple of weeks, so the lawsuit that was filed was done in the middle of compiling this information."

In 2003, the diocese admitted there were 26 priests who worked in the diocese who had been accused of sexually molesting minors. However, the names of those priests had never been released publicly, according to the St. Cloud Times.

That list had seven more names on it than demanded by the lawsuit.

Kettler said in the release, "It is my hope that the release of these names will provide validation to those victims who have been sexually abused and have already come forward. I pray it will also give strength to those who have remained silent and allow them to come forward."

KARE 11 reports the list includes diocesan priests and clergy who are members of religious communities who served in parishes in the diocese. Also the list includes the names of several men who served in schools with the Diocese of St. Cloud.

Kettler was installed as the bishop of the St. Cloud Diocese in November. Prior to that he had been the bishop of the Fairbanks diocese since 2002.

The issue of clergy sex abuse has been in the news a lot already this week.

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

Earlier this week, the Duluth Diocese released its list of 17 "credibly accused" priests.

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