Fifteen Years After Dallas, Part Five: Naughty Nienstedt and the Vatican Shred

In 2013, Minnesota passed a landmark bill that allowed victims of child sexual abuse to use the civil courts to expose their abuser, no matter when the abuse took place. We are hoping to get one passed in New York right now. Ensuing lawsuits showed that the Archdiocese under Archbishop John Nienstedt (pictured above) and…Continue reading Fifteen Years After Dallas, Part Five: Naughty Nienstedt and the Vatican Shred

Why did the Vatican reinstate a convicted priest?

The answer is simple: they thought no one would notice. When Indian priest Rev. Joseph Jeyapaul pleaded guilty in 2012 to child molestation in the Diocese of Crookston, MN, Jeyapaul’s victims and their supporters (including SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) believed—at first—that they had won a huge victory. Not only had Jeyapaul fled the…Continue reading Why did the Vatican reinstate a convicted priest?

Catholics who stopped “sitting back and taking it”

  There are two very amazing and interesting aspects of today’s news about disgraced Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt. After national media attention and huge (and righteous) push back from Michigan Catholics, Nienstedt has been forced to leave a temporary position in a Michigan parish. If you’re just catching up to the story, Kalamazoo Catholic officials didn’t…Continue reading Catholics who stopped “sitting back and taking it”

“He created the group to find children to abuse”

        Children’s Theater Company of Minneapolis has a problem that is never going to go away. Yesterday, a victim of sexual abuse filed the fourth abuse and cover-up lawsuit against the theater company. The latest civil lawsuit, brought by a woman who is now an academic advisor at the University of Minnesota,…Continue reading “He created the group to find children to abuse”

How do you solve a problem like Nienstedt?

    What do you do with a disgraced bishop, whose involvement in the cover-up of child sexual abuse led to his being forced out (as well as a bankruptcy for his Archdiocese and criminal charges against the organization)? Put him in a parish, apparently. Yesterday, former St. Paul and Minneapolis Chancellor (and whistleblower) Jennifer…Continue reading How do you solve a problem like Nienstedt?

Prestigious MN prep school/Uni in violation of Title IX for housing sex offending monks

  Newly released documents show how St. John’s Prep in Collegeville, MN is in direct violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and created a hostile environment where students can reasonably believe they are risk of sexual assault. At least 10 sex-offending monks—who have only been publicly exposed due to child sex abuse civil lawsuits…Continue reading Prestigious MN prep school/Uni in violation of Title IX for housing sex offending monks

Did Missouri’s taxpayers foot the bill for an out-of-state sex offending priest?

You bet they did. A wealthy Minnesota Catholic religious order and a Catholic-owned rehabilitation hospital engaged in potential Missouri Medicaid insurance fraud to get free health care for a sex-offending priest, a newly released document shows. The 2014 document, released as a part of a legal settlement against the Benedictines of Minnesota and sex-offending priests, show that the order withheld money…Continue reading Did Missouri’s taxpayers foot the bill for an out-of-state sex offending priest?

Sex offending monks have no contact with students … or do they?

  From the statement by St. John’s (MN) Abbey regarding the recent release of of the personnel files of five sex-offending monks: “The files provided include those of monks currently living on the Saint John’s campus under safety plans. Their actions are limited and they are closely supervised.” Hmmm … if the 6th though 12th graders…Continue reading Sex offending monks have no contact with students … or do they?

Vatican thwarts review boards, documents show

Everything the bishops have been led you to believe about the independent power of lay review boards is deliberately misleading. Citing a sex-offening priest’s “right to privacy,” a newly released Vatican document shows that priests are able to shield potentially damning evidence from review boards who are charged with determining whether abuse allegations against a priest…Continue reading Vatican thwarts review boards, documents show

MN Abbey: Prep School/University campus has housed abusers for decades

  Earlier today, attorneys for sex abuse victims by priests and monks at a prestigious Benedictine high school, university, and abbey released hundreds of pages of documents that show a decades-long cover-up of the sexual abuse of children and university students. It’s important to note that many of the credibly accused priests still live on…Continue reading MN Abbey: Prep School/University campus has housed abusers for decades

It’s time for the Bishop Quiz!

  Did you just see Spotlight and get all fired up? Or maybe you have noticed that your bishop’s actions don’t reflect transparency, humility … or anything remotely resembling Christianity. But you can’t quite determine the root of the problem. And no matter how hard to try to believe that “things are different now,” your bishop’s words just ring false.…Continue reading It’s time for the Bishop Quiz!

Using “healing” to end the conversation … when the conversation is far from over

  Here’s a hypothetical: Your boss borrows your car and runs over your beloved dog Rover in the company’s parking garage. When your boss returns the car, you ask him about your dead dog and the blood stains all over the bumper. He denies all knowledge. When confronted with video surveillance footage, your boss finally admits…Continue reading Using “healing” to end the conversation … when the conversation is far from over

Twin Cities Archbishop resigns—or—Who is shrewd and who is brave?

My email was flooded this morning with news that St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop John C. Nienstedt and Auxiliary Bishop Lee A. Piché had resigned. If you haven’t been following the news, the archdiocese has been hammered during the past two years as legal disclosures showed that Archdiocese officials knew about child sexual abuse and…Continue reading Twin Cities Archbishop resigns—or—Who is shrewd and who is brave?

Shattuck-St. Mary’s Part Three: Inside the mind of a predator

  I give you two predators: One fictional. One real. The similarities will stun you. “It’s very boring, having to listen to the silly little troubles of an eleven-year-old girl,” he went on. “But I was patient. I wrote back. I was sympathectic, I was kind. Ginny simply loved me. No one’s ever understood me…Continue reading Shattuck-St. Mary’s Part Three: Inside the mind of a predator

Shattuck-St. Mary’s Part 2: The choice

*** This post is updated with a statement by Shattuck-St. Mary’s.*** In 2003, Headmaster Nick Stoneman had a choice. His drama teacher had been found with child pornography on a school computer. This same teacher—Lynn Seibel—had admitted to being complicit in “Naked Dance Parties” with male students in school bathrooms. Seibel was also rumored to have…Continue reading Shattuck-St. Mary’s Part 2: The choice

The Total Failure of Shattuck-St. Mary’s

A boarding school. Naked dance parties. Child pornography. Molestation. An arrest. A suicide. Allegations. Lawsuits. A cover-up. Total institutional ethical failure. When I first heard about the scandal at Minnesota’s Shattuck-St. Mary’s (I’ll refer to it from now on as SSM), I had a hard time wrapping my arms around the extent of the criminal…Continue reading The Total Failure of Shattuck-St. Mary’s