Religion and Faith

Victim group calls on Twin Cities Archdiocese to add names of alleged abusers to list

A group of people stand and talk
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, held a news conference on to call upon the archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to update its list of “credibly accused” abusers.
Jacob Aloi | MPR News

Battling wind and passing traffic, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, held a news conference outside the Cathedral of St. Paul. Their purpose was to call upon the local archdiocese to update its list of “credibly accused” abusers.  

The group presented five names of former priests — two living and three deceased — who held positions within the St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese, that have previously been recognized as credibly accused of abuse by other Catholic entities, but not in the Twin Cities. 

“Each of these five men is on a list, an official church list, of credibly accused child molesting clerics in another Catholic jurisdiction,” said former national director of SNAP, David Clohessy.  

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis keeps an online list of clergies employed by them that have been found to have credible claims of sexual abuse. It includes those who were accused while working for the archdiocese, and those who worked within the area at some point but were accused by a different entity.  

The group alleges that Archbishop Bernard Hebda has had ample time to investigate the named priests and add them to the list.

“It would be tempting to think that maybe Archbishop Hebda just overlooked these names, but it's very hard for us to believe that,” Clohessy said, adding that some of the priests had been accused over five years ago. 

In a statement today, Archbishop Hebda said that he has asked investigators to “review the clergy records” at the archdiocese, along with other information to determine if the criteria are met to add the men to the disclosure list.  

“Per our policy and protocol, we have already begun the process of investigating the names of the individuals brought forward today,” the statement said.  

The group emphasized the importance of having both the living and deceased accused men added to the list and wants the archdiocese to make go on past promises of accountability.  

“I can speak for myself as an abuse victim, the abuse is over, the physical abuse is over,” said Frank Meuers, a SNAP support group leader from Plymouth. “But the abuse, the hurt, the pain is never over.”