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New Ulm diocese asks judge to dismiss public nuisance claim

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Lawyers for a victim of clergy sexual abuse have asked Brown County Court Judge Robert Docherty to order the Diocese of New Ulm to release a list of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse.

Attorney Jeff Anderson, who represents victims of clergy sexual abuse, said he is alarmed that the New Ulm diocese has not released its list.

"It begs the question 'Why do they continue to adhere to this secret list and not choose to voluntary release it so the community can know and the children can be protected?'" Anderson said. 

• Betrayed by Silence: An MPR News investigation

A lawsuit Anderson filed last month seeks the release of a list of 12 priests in the diocese. The suit alleges the New Ulm diocese and the Servants of the Paraclete, a religious order, neglected to supervise the Rev. Francis Markey, who worked in the diocese in the mid-1980s. The plaintiff alleged that Markey sexually abused him at St. Andrew parish in Granite Falls, Minn., in 1982, when he was 8 years old.

                                                                                 During a hearing on Monday, officials from the Diocese of New Ulm told the judge that the list should remain secret. They moved to dismiss a nuisance claim that demands the diocese disclose the names.

In a statement, diocese officials said two of the people named on the list believe the sexual abuse allegations made against them are false and their names should therefore not be made public.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as well as St. John's Abbey and the dioceses of WinonaDuluth and St. Cloud have released lists of credibly accused priests.

Docherty is expected to rule soon on the New Ulm claim.