Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Lawsuit presses St. Cloud diocese for priest list

http://stcdio.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Diocese-of-Saint-Cloud.pngA sexual abuse survivor and his attorneys plan to announce Thursday a civil lawsuit against the St. Cloud diocese seeking a list of priests credibly accused of abuse.

Robert Ethen and his attorneys Jeff Anderson and Mike Bryant will hold a press conference at 1 p.m. Thursday at the law office of Bradshaw & Bryant, Waite Park. 

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday afternoon in Stearns County District Court.

Ethen of Sartell will discuss the abuse he said occurred in the mid-1960s by the Rev. James A. Thoennes, according to a statement from Anderson’s office.

Thoennes was named in a 2009 lawsuit. That lawsuit accused the diocese of failing to alert parishioners that Thoennes was accused of abuse. He instead was moved from parish to parish, it said.

The statement from Anderson’s office says the diocese admitted in 2003 there were 26 priests who had been accused of sexually abusing children, but no names have been released.

The list was compiled by Bishop John Kinney. 

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops created a charter to protect children, and created the lists in an effort to be more transparent. 

The conference did not require the release of the names.

The statement says the lawsuit will contend the diocese must release the names because the conduct harmed those who were abused and endangers the public where the accused priests live and work.

Lists of names were released in December by the Minneapolis-St. Paul archdiocese, Winona and Duluth dioceses, and by St. John’s Abbey.

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