The Diocese of Crookston releases names of priests accused of abuse

The Diocese of Crookston has released the names of six priests accused of sexually abusing children. Five of the priests on the Crookston list are dead. All six are already known to the public through lawsuits and media reports.

The disclosure comes after similar releases by the St. Cloud, Duluth and Winona dioceses, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and St. John's Abbey in response to public pressure from victims and parishioners and, in some cases, court orders and pending litigation.

Related: Betrayed by Silence | An MPR News Investigation

The decision by Crookston Bishop Michael Hoeppner leaves New Ulm as the only diocese in Minnesota that hasn't released a list of accused priests. The Diocese of New Ulm argues that two of the allegations are false and therefore should not be made public. Victims' attorneys are asking a judge to order the diocese to release the names. Hoeppner couldn't be reached for comment this weekend, so it's unclear whether these are the names of all priests accused of abuse who served in Crookston or just the priests deemed credibly accused by the diocese.

The list includes the priests' assignment histories and their birth, ordination and death dates. It doesn't include any information about the allegations.

THE LIST

• One of the men on the Crookston list - former priest James Porter - is among the nation's most notorious abusive priests. His arrest and conviction in the early 1990s for sexually abusing more than 20 children ignited a national scandal. Porter was ordained priest of Fall River, Mass., in 1960. He served in the Crookston diocese for two years as an assistant pastor at St. Philip in Bemidji from 1969 to 1970 and died in 2005 at age 70.

• The Rev. Joseph Jeyapaul, a 59-year-old priest from India, is the only living person on the list. He served in the Crookston diocese as a "priest in residence" at St. Bernard in Thief River Falls in 2004. From 2004 to 2005, he served as administrator of Blessed Sacrament in Greenbush, St. Joseph in Middle River, and St. Edward in Karlstad. According to the Crookston diocese, Jeyapaul was removed from ministry on Sept. 15, 2005 and returned to India. The list says his status as a priest is "unknown."

• The Rev. Stanley Bourassa, ordained in 1955. He served as an assistant pastor at St. Joseph in Red Lake Falls from 1955 to 1957, St. Anne in Crookston from 1957 to 1961, St. Philip in Bemidji from 1961 to 1962, and Sacred Heart in East Grand Forks from 1962 to 1969. He then served as pastor at St. Mary in Fosston and St. Lawrence in Mentor from 1969 to 1977, and Sacred Heart in East Grand Forks from 1977 to 1981. From 1981 to 1991 he served as pastor at St. Bernard in Thief River Falls, St. Ann in Goodridge, and St. Clement in Grygla. His final assignment was to Assumption in Barnesville and St. Cecilia in Sabin, where he served as pastor from 1991 to 1999. Bourassa retired in July 1999. He died in 2004 at age 75.

• The Rev. Henry Carriere, ordained in 1946. He served as assistant pastor at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Crookston in 1946, St. Joseph in Fertile from 1946 to 1948, St. Philip in Bemidji from 1948 to 1950, and St. Rose of Lima in Argyle from 1950 to 1952. From 1952 to 1955 he served as administrator at St. Lawrence in Guthrie and St. Theodore in Laporte - and as chaplain of St. Joseph Hospital in Park Rapids. He served as pastor of St. Joseph in Brooks from 1955 to 1972, St. Vincent de Paul in Plummer from 1965 to 1969, St. Anthony in Terrebone from 1969 to 1972, and St. Rose of Lima in Argyle from 1972 to 1982. His final assignment was to Sacred Heart in Roseau and St. Mary in Badger, where he served as pastor from 1982 to 1990. He retired in 1990. According to the Diocese of Crookston, he was removed from ministry on June 19, 2002. He died the following year at age 83.

• The Rev. J. Vincent Fitzgerald, a member of the Order of Mary Immaculate, ordained in 1950. He served as assistant pastor at St. Patrick in Kelliher and St. Joseph in Shooks from 1973 to 1974. His last assignment in the Crookston diocese was as pastor of three parishes - St. Anne in Naytahwaush, St. Francis Cabrini in Big Elbow Lake, and St. Benedict in White Earth - from 1983 to 1986. He died in 2009 at age 89.

• The Rev. Francis Reid, ordained in 1964. He served as assistant pastor at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Crookston from 1964 to 1965, St. Philip in Bemidji from 1965 to 1966, St. Rose of Lima in Argyle from 1966 to 1968, and St. Bernard in Thief River Falls from 1968 to 1971. Reid served as administrator of St. Ann in Waubun in 1971. He then served as pastor at St. John's in Akeley, Immaculate Conception in Nevis, and St. Theodore in Ponsford from 1971 to 1977. He served as pastor of St. Michael in Mahnomen from 1977 to 1980 and St. Peter the Apostle in Park Rapids from 1980 to 1990. His final assignment was as pastor of St. Mary in Two Inlets, St. Theodore in Ponsford, and St. Catherine in Lake Itasca from 1990 to 1992. He retired in 1992. According to the Diocese of Crookston, he was removed from ministry on July 1, 1992. He died in 2007 at age 84.

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