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Judge: Archbishop must give deposition in clerical abuse lawsuit

Feb. 12, 2014 at 4:26 PM   |   Comments

ST. PAUL, Minn., Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis must give a deposition in a clerical molestation suit, a judge says.

Ramsey County District Judge John van de North also ordered the archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the diocese of Winona, Minn., to hand over a list of priests charged with molesting children since 2004, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported. Van de North said the information will be kept under seal for the moment but must be accompanied by an explanation of why it should not be disclosed.

Nienstedt has been archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis since 2008. In December, he voluntarily took a leave while police investigate allegations he inappropriately touched a boy's buttocks.

The lawsuit was brought by a man identified only as John Doe No. 1. He alleges he was molested in the late 1970s by Thomas Adamson, who was then a priest at St. Thomas Aquinas in St. Paul Park.

The judge also ordered depositions from Kevin McDonough, the former vicar general in the archdiocese, and the Rev. John Brown. Lawyers for the plaintiff say they want to question Brown, 93, because he was also an abusive priest and one whose case was not handled properly by church officials.

Lawyers for the church said the plaintiff is casting a very wide net.

"These expansive and disproportionately burdensome demands for information stretch back to time immemorial, and give no guidance as to time, person, place, or any other specifics," Thomas Braun, who represents the diocese of Winona, said in a memorandum.

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