St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese to name abusive priests

Nov. 11, 2013 at 4:51 PM
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ST. PAUL, Minn., Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Priests who have sexually abused minors will be named, Archbishop John Nienstedt of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis announced Monday.

The move marks an about-face for the Catholic archdiocese, which for years has refused to release a list of pedophile priests, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

In a letter posted on the archdiocese website, Nienstedt said the "names, locations and status of priests ... who we know have substantiated claims against them of committing sexual abuse against minors" would be disclosed.

All those to be named are currently residing in the archdiocese but have been removed from the ministry, he added.

Nienstedt made the announcement after news another priest, Clarence Vavra, had admitted sexually abusing minors on South Dakota's Rosebud Indian Reservation in the mid-1990s, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Monday.

Attorney Jeff Anderson, who represents victims of clergy sexual abuse, dismissed Nienstedt's plan as shallow, saying it falls short of demands from families of victims.

"It's more self-protection, not protection for children. It's public relations, not public safety," Anderson said.

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