NEW INFORMATION: Winona Diocese names priests accused of abuse

By: Sarah Moon, AP Email
By: Sarah Moon, AP Email

ROCHESTER, Minn. (WEAU) -- Fourteen priests who served an area diocese are accused of sexual abuse.

On Monday the Diocese of Winona released their names after receiving a court order from a judge in Ramsey County, Minnesota.

The judge's deadline expires Tuesday.

Attorney Mike Finnegan specializes is sex abuse cases.

He said releasing the names makes children safer, and helps ease the burden for other abuse victims.

“Often survivors are suffering in secrecy, silence and shame, and this list and the release today gives those survivors permission to come forward and get help confidentially,” said Finnegan.

Finnegan said Monday’s action shows how broad accusations of sexual abuse were in the Catholic Church.

Patrick Wall, a former priest who now advocates for sexual abuse survivors said some people view the church as a holy institution, and don't want to see it any other way.

“This is the first time in history that I’m aware of that the church is starting to be looked at for what it is and to be judged for what it is on a completely level playing field,” said Wall.

Nine of the accused Winona Diocese priests have since died.

One is no longer a priest, three are in the process of being removed from the priesthood and one is on administrative leave pending criminal proceedings.

The names of priests accused of sex abuse after 2004 are supposed to be released by January 6.

The Diocese of Winona released a statement from Bishop John Quinn that said, “Over the past few decades, a number of clergy members in the Diocese of Winona sadly have been accused of violating the sacred trust placed in them by children, youth and their families and were accused of detestable crimes of sexual abuse. This has caused insufferable harm to victims, their families, parishioners and the church. For this I am truly sorry.”

--------------

WINONA, Minn. (DIOCESE OF WINONA NEWS RELEASE) -- A Statement from Most Rev. John M. Quinn, Bishop of Winona

December 16, 2013 - Earlier today, the Diocese of Winona released a list of 13 priest names associated with the John Jay Study commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in 2002. The accompanying statement provided detailed information about the study and the Diocese of Winona’s release of the priest names. This statement can be found on our website at www.dow.org.

Over the past few decades, a number of clergy members in the Diocese of Winona sadly have been accused of violating the sacred trust placed in them by children, youth and their families and were accused of detestable crimes of sexual abuse. This has caused insufferable harm to victims, their families, parishioners and the Church. For this I am truly sorry.

The Diocese of Winona has fully adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (“the Charter”), as promulgated by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop, and is committed to combating the problems of sexual abuse, protecting the young and vulnerable, caring for the victims of abuse, and restoring trust and hope. We are committed to a process of transparency about sexual abuse by clergy and the disclosure of names of those with substantiated claims so that this will never occur again.
The Diocese of Winona works vigorously and has taken extraordinary measures to ensure that all of the schools, parishes and programs administered in the Diocese adhere to the Charter so that those entrusted to our care are safe.

Nearly 5,000 priests, deacons, lay employees, volunteers and seminarians complete the Virtus Safe Environment Program annually. This ongoing program strengthens the stringent policies and procedures that have been in place for over a decade now. Everyone is invited to examine these resources on our website www.dow.org and share with us ideas and ways that we can further strengthen our programs. If you have been harmed or know someone who has been harmed, the information needed to report the claim can be found on the site.

It is a difficult time for the Church in the Diocese of Winona. It is also a time of hope which presents an opportunity to heal and continue moving forward. Today, our parishes are vibrant and safer than ever before. Our priests, deacons, religious, volunteers, lay leaders and parishioners are of one heart. A heart fully committed to reflecting the love of Jesus Christ through everything we do in worship, faith formation, education and service.
-----------------------------------
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) --The Roman Catholic Diocese of Winona has named 14 priests accused of sexually abusing minors.

The southeastern Minnesota diocese filed the list in Ramsey County District Court on Monday. That's a day before the deadline set by a Ramsey County judge.

Attorneys for abuse victims have long sought such lists by saying it's in the interest of public safety. Earlier this month, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis published the names of 34 priests accused of abuse under the same judicial order.

Of the 14 priests identified by the Diocese of Winona, nine are dead. Of the five still living, the diocese says one has been removed from priesthood. Three are in the process of being removed, and one is on administrative leave pending criminal proceedings in Faribault County.
-------------------------------------
WINONA, Minn. (DIOCESE OF WINONA NEWS RELEASE) --A Statement from Most Rev. John M. Quinn, Bishop of Winona:

December 16, 2013 – In 2002, the National Review Board commissioned the John Jay College of Criminal Justice to conduct a blind study to determine the nature and scope of child sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. Each diocese in the United States was contacted by John Jay College and was required to report the number of priests within its diocese who had “credible” accusations of abuse.

The national study required the report of any accusation that was not implausible (see definition below). This included allegations that did not necessarily result in a criminal, civil or diocesan investigation and allegations that were unsubstantiated.

The national study defined an implausible allegation as one that could not possibly have happened under the given circumstances (e.g., an accusation is made to a bishop about a priest who never served at that diocese). The study went on to say that erroneous information does not necessarily make the allegation implausible (e.g., a priest arrived at the diocese a year after the alleged abuse, but all other facts of the case are credible and the alleged victim might have mistaken the
date). Allegations that were determined not to be “implausible” have since been referred to as “credible” accusations.

The methodology of the national study encouraged over-reporting and the study specifically directed each diocese not to engage in the endeavor of weighing the credibility of any of the accusations out of concern that the data produced by the study would arguably be invalid because of subjective determinations as to the credibility of, or substantiation of, the allegation(s).

The national study concluded that approximately 4% of priests in ministry in the United States had accusations of abuse made against them. The study also found that the annual number of incidents of sexual abuse of minors by priests increased steadily to a peak in the late 1970s and early 1980s and then declined sharply after 1985.

The Ramsey County District Court has ordered that the Diocese of Winona publicly release the names associated with the John Jay College Study, as well any other priests who have had accusations of child sexual abuse since 2004. In compliance with that Order, the Diocese of Winona hereby releases the following names, ages, places of ministry, ministerial status and current location of each priest associated with the John Jay Study, as well as the same information of those who have been accused of perpetrating sexual abuse against a minor since 2002.

Thirteen John Jay Study Priests

Thomas P. Adamson - Permanently removed from ministry in 1984; laicized 2009.
Sylvester F. Brown - Deceased 2010.
Joseph C. Cashman - Permanently removed from ministry in 1992; laicization pending in Canonical Tribunal.
Louis G. Cook - Deceased 2004.
William D. Curtis - Deceased 2001.
John R. Feiten - Deceased 2001.
Richard E. Hatch - Deceased 2005.
Ferdinand L. Kaiser - Deceased 1973.
Jack L. Krough - Permanently removed from ministry in 2002; laicization pending in Canonical Tribunal.
Michael J. Kuisle - Deceased 1971.
James W. Lennon -Deceased 2000.
Leland J. Smith - Permanently removed from ministry in 1994; laicization pending in Canonical Tribunal.
Robert H. Taylor - Deceased 2012.

Priests Accused of Abuse after 2004

Leo Charles Koppala - Administrative leave pending outcome of criminal proceedings in Faribault County, MN.

The Diocese of Winona is committed to the protection of young people and adherence to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and encourages anyone who has been sexual abused to immediately report the abuse to law enforcement or the proper authorities.

Complete Safe Environment program details and policies can be viewed on the diocesan website, www.dow.org, follow the link on the right side of the page titled “Keeping Our Promise to Protect”. The Disclosure Regarding Clergy Sexual Abuse of Minors can be found by following the “Victims Assistance and Advocacy” link.


The comment sections of our web set are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from the viewers but we are not obligated to post comments we feel inappropriate or violate our guidelines. Here are some of the criteria you should follow when posting comments:

Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. Children and families visit this site. We will delete comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.

We will delete all comments using hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our web site.

Comments should not attack other readers personally.

We will delete comments we deem offensive, in bad taste, or out of bounds. We are not obligated to post comments that are rude or insensitive.

We do not edit user-submitted comments.

As a host WEAU 13 News welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However, we have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason WEAU 13 News reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.
powered by Disqus
WEAU 13 NEWS 1907 S. Hastings Way Eau Claire, WI 54701 By Phone: Main Number (715) 835-1313 and (715) 832-3474. Tip Line (715) 839-WEAU - (715) 839-9328 Sports Line (715) 852-1537
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 236035471 - weau.com/a?a=236035471
Gray Television, Inc.