A year in the life of the Twin Cities archdiocese
Madeleine Baran · St. Paul, Minn. · Dec 26, 2014
From the link: http://www.mprnews.org/story/2014/12/24/archdiocese-cover-up
One of the biggest stories of 2014 was the MPR News investigation of the clergy sex abuse cover-up in the Twin Cities archdiocese.
A year ago this month, a Ramsey County judge forced Archbishop John Nienstedt to release the names of priests credibly accused of sexually abusing children. In the months that followed, the archdiocese faced new revelations about how deep the cover-up went and who was involved.
What’s the current state of the scandal?
Much is still happening behind the scenes. Indications are that the archdiocese will file for bankruptcy, though it claims that it hasn’t decided yet. If the archdiocese does file for bankruptcy, all of the church’s finances would be under scrutiny by a federal judge. We don’t know where that would lead or how much money victims would end up receiving.
Has the archdiocese put procedures in place to ensure reform?
Not as far as we can tell. Over the past year and a half, the archdiocese has announced a new task force and appointed various priests and lay people to advise the church on handling abuse complaints, but the structure of the chancery remains the same. The archbishop holds all the power, and does not have to follow anyone’s recommendations. The structure that allowed this cover-up to happen is still in place.
It’s also important to note some context. This isn’t the first time this archdiocese has faced a clergy sex abuse cover-up. Each time, the scandal starts with an allegation that church leaders covered up abuse. Then the archdiocese apologizes, announces new policies, meets with victims and stresses the idea of healing and moving on. Bishops in the 1980s and ’90s said the same things that church leaders say now.
Is Archbishop John Nienstedt still in charge?
He is, but more of his subordinates are making statements and granting interviews on the scandal. In some ways, he is no longer the public face of the archdiocese.
About a year ago, Nienstedt authorized an investigation into his private life. It’s still not over. Nienstedt has promised transparency and accountability, yet the public knows almost nothing about this investigation. We recently learned that the archdiocese has hired another attorney to continue the investigation, but no one at the chancery will tell the public why.
What’s happened between the archdiocese and plaintiffs’ attorney Jeff Anderson?
No one had been a louder critic of the archdiocese for its handling of sex abuse cases than Jeff Anderson. He conducted news conferences where he condemned the leaders of the archdiocese and held up photos of priests accused of abuse. That’s not happening anymore. At a news conference, he shook hands with church officials and announced a new era of cooperation. There’s a more or less orderly process of working through claims from abuse victims.
What are victims saying?
We’re just halfway through a three-year window that allows victims of child sexual abuse a chance to sue for older claims. That window closes in May of 2016.
MPR News gets calls from victims who say they haven’t told anyone that they were abused, let alone decided whether to file a lawsuit. A lot of these people are men in their 60s, even their 70s and 80s. Almost every victim says he cannot understand why parishioners aren’t up in arms over the cover-up.
KC – Archbishop resigns before deposition
Posted by David Clohessy on April 10, 2013
An Iowa Catholic archbishop has announced his resignation “for health reasons” just two weeks prior to his scheduled deposition in a clergy sex abuse and cover up case.
He’s Jerome Hanus who has headed the Archdiocese of Dubuque, IA and will soon live again in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
From 1977 to 1987, Jerome Hanus was abbot at Conception Abbey in Conception, MO (Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph). In a videotaped interview and a signed confession from 2011, Bede Parry admitted that Abbot Jerome Hanus knew about Parry’s previous sexual misconduct yet still placed Parry in a position of authority with the Conception Abbey Boy Choir where Parry reoffended with at least five choir participants.
With this resignation, Hanus has become to first high-ranking church official to step down during Pope Francis’ new regime.
“It’s extremely rare for a standing Archbishop to be desposed, and even moreso when that official has been named as an enabler by a predator priest himself,” said said David Clohessy, SNAP Director. “The consequences from this deposition could be huge.”
SNAP believes that it is important the deposition still be held and that Hanus is made to ask tough questions about his time in Missouri and Iowa
“We hope the deposition will still be held,” said David Clohessy, SNAP Director. “It’s important that the public find out what Hanus knew about not only Parry, but other child-molesting clerics.”
Clohessy continued to say that “if he’s covered up sex crimes once, he’s surely done it again.”
Two attorneys – Rebecca Randles of Kansas City and Jeff Anderson of St. Paul MN – have handled cases against Parry.
Here’s video of Parry, the accused predator, regarding Hanus:
Here’s a statement Parry made in May 2011:
Here’s a 2011 story linking Hanus to the Parry lawsuit:
Here’s a new article about Hanus’ resignation:
Parry lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hanus plans to move back to Conception Abbey in northwestern Missouri.
For more info: David Clohessy (314.566.9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Pat Marker (360-421-5849, firstname.lastname@example.org)