Archdiocese asks court to block depositions, stop release of names

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is asking an appeals court to stop the release of the names of priests accused of child sexual abuse, and to block depositions of top church officials.

The appeal comes amid a lawsuit filed by a man who says he was abused by Father Thomas Adamson in 1976 and 1977.

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Last week a Ramsey County district judge ordered Archbishop John Nienstedt and his top deputies to be deposed under oath in the case. That followed an earlier order to disclose the names of all priests accused of child sexual abuse since 2004.

In a statement, the archdiocese said it's appealing the order because it's overly broad, and disclosure of the names — even under seal — could harm priests who've been accused falsely. The archdiocese also says Neinstedt has no information about Adamson.

Plaintiff's attorney Jeff Anderson said he's trying to find evidence of "patterns and practices" by the archdiocese that allowed child sex abuse to occur for decades.

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