List of Accused Monks in 18 Sexual Molestation Cases Released

Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 10:43 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Catholic church abuse advocates said St. John's Abbey's release of the names of 18 monks accused in sexual molestation cases on its website Monday is incomplete and years overdue.

St. John's Abby published the names of current and former monks it says likely have sexually abused minors, the Star Tribune reported. The list's posting was in response to a lawsuit filed that demanded the disclosure.

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The listing comes a week after a Ramsey County judge ordered the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona to reveal similar lists. The abbey is run by the Order of St. Benedict.

"This list reflects our best efforts to identify those who likely have offended against minors," Brother Aelred Senna, a St. John's Abbey spokesman, said in a statement. "That task often is complicated by the passage of time, the deaths of some of those involved and sometimes incomplete accounts of the past. Even so, we are including all 18 names to provide as complete of a list as we can to acknowledge the pain suffered by victims. This list underscores our commitment to being transparent in our policies and procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse."

St. John's stated in the news release that many of the charges against the listed monks were reviewed either by the Abbey’s external review board, a seven-member panel that included experts in the treatment of sexual abuse of minors, judges, attorneys and current and former law enforcement members.

Patrick Marker, who runs a website devoted to victims of sexual abuse in the St. John's religious community, told the Star Tribune he feels the abbey is only doing the bare minimum for victims.

"They haven't done victims any favors here; they've just done what they should've done two years ago," Marker told the newspaper, saying five more names should be included. "The list is hardly proactive as they want to make it seem."

According to the abbey website, the list of living monks include Michael Bik, Richard Eckroth, Thomas Gillespie, Brennan Maiers, Finian McDonald, Dunstan Moorse, James Phillips, Francisco Schulte and Allen Tarlton. Deceased monks listed are Andre Bennett, Robert Blumeyer, Cosmas Dahlheimer, Othmar Hohmann, Dominic Keller, Pirmin Wendt and Bruce Wollmering. Two of the accused are no longer monks, Francis Hoefgen and John Kelly.

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