Deceased bishop accused of abuse while serving in St. Cloud diocese

Bishop Harold J. Dimmerling
Bishop Harold J. Dimmerling of Diocese of Rapid City. The Diocese of St. Cloud announced Monday that Dimmerling has been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor while he was a priest in the diocese.
Courtesy of Diocese of Rapid City, South Dakota

The Diocese of St. Cloud announced Monday that a deceased bishop has been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor while he was a priest in the diocese.

Harold Dimmerling was ordained in 1940 in Altoona, Pa. He served in central Minnesota parishes in the 1940s and 1950s, including St. Cloud, Breckenridge, Brushvale, Glenwood and Villard.

Dimmerling later worked at the seminary at Collegeville and as a pastor in Little Falls, Minn. He was bishop of Rapid City, S.D., from 1969 until his death in 1987.

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In a news release, the diocese said St. Cloud Bishop Donald Kettler recently received an allegation that Dimmerling sexually abused a minor while he was a priest in the diocese. Kettler spoke with the survivor and deemed the allegation credible, the news release said.

The diocese did not disclose details of the date or location of the abuse, saying the survivor is concerned about being identified.

Kettler plans to schedule listening sessions in the communities where Dimmerling served. The diocese says there have been no other reports of abuse involving Dimmerling.

The allegation comes as U.S. bishops meet in Baltimore to discuss measures to address the abuse crisis.