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Judge denies motion to block archbishop's deposition, release of priests' names

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The cathedral
The Cathedral of St. Paul, St. Paul, Minn.
Regina McCombs / MPR News

By MPR News Staff  

A judge has denied a motion filed by lawyers for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona seeking to block the depositions of Archbishop John Nienstedt and two other priests and halt the ordered release of the names of priests accused of child sexual abuse since 2004.  

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"There is no persuasive legal or factual basis for Defendants' motions and they are, in part, premature," District Court Judge John B. Van de North, Jr. said in his ruling.   

The order to disclose the priests' names came in December. Van de North on Feb. 11 ordered the archbishop to be deposed under oath.

In a memorandum filed in Ramsey County District Court Feb. 13, the archdiocese argued that the disclosure of the names of the priests, even under court seal, would cause "irreparable harm to the Archdiocese and its clergy."

Here is the text of Van de North's ruling: