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Hundreds of boys were abused at a Minnesota Catholic school

Hundreds of boys were abused at a Minnesota Catholic school

Catholic priest Finian McDonald, above, is one of five priests at a Minnesota school who were exposed as this week as predatory child abusers.

McDonald confessed in a 2012 psychiatric session that he molested more than 200 boys, 18 of whom were children under his care in the dormitories of St John’s Preparatory School, a private boys’ school run by the monks in Collegeville.

Her admitted that he drank heavily and freely preyed on students during his years as a dormitory prefect.

According to this report, personnel records made public on Tuesday revealed that Catholic priests at St John’s Abbey in Collegeville engaged in a sustained and coordinated campaign of child rape, which they took pains to keep secret from the public for decades.

A court case brought by one of the priests’ former victims resulted in a judge’s order for the monastery to release records on all priests and monks credibly accused of child abuse.

The documents released regarding five abusive priests mark the first time the monastery has opened its records to the public after being embroiled in abuse lawsuits for more than 20 years. The files include psychiatric assessments of the five men, records of abuse allegations and the abbey’s responses dating back from the 1960s to the last few years.

The abbey released a written statement in an effort to minimize the damning reports. Brother Aelred Senna wrote:

There are documents in each file which may be quoted and framed in a lurid context. But the huge majority of the documents in each of these files acknowledges the very real failures of some monks while showing each of the accused monks as a fallible, relatable person.

Senna claims that the abbey made no attempt to cover up abuse allegations when they were brought to church leaders’ attention.

Victim Troy Bramlage, with his attorney Jeff Anderson.

Victim Troy Bramlage, with his attorney Jeff Anderson.

However, victim Troy Bramlage’s attorney Jeff Anderson said in a press conference that the documents show a clear pattern of systematic abuse with no serious efforts made to protect the children in the monks’ care.

So many offenders were allowed access to so many kids for so many years. This reflects to us…that there are dozens and hundreds of survivors that are yet to be known.

Four other predator priests were profiled in the documents: Rev Tom Gillespie, former priest Fran Hoefgen, the Rev Bruce Wollmering and the Rev Richard Eckroth. Wollmering and Eckroth are deceased.

Hoefgen was acquitted of sexually harassing a teen boy earlier this year, but the newly released records show that he exhibited a pattern of predatory behavior toward boys, beginning in the 1980s and continuing through the next two decades.

Rather than alert authorities and dismiss Hoefgen, however, the abbey presented him with $30,000 to help him “transition out of the priesthood”.

The documents show that the abbey moved priests from parish to parish when abuse allegations where levied against them, covering up the problem and keeping secrets within their own ranks. There are 14 more priests associated with the abbey whose records have yet to be produced.

Troy Bramlage, the abuse survivor whose lawsuit spurred the release of the documents told reporters that he hopes more victims will come forward as the priests’ records go public.

People need to know they don’t have to suffer alone.

Hat tip: Peter Sykes

24 responses to “Hundreds of boys were abused at a Minnesota Catholic school”

  1. Broga says:

    The same old story. How many more times before determined action is taken to deal with child sexual abuse when it is uncovered.? Meanwhile, Frankie is posturing and preaching to the faithful in Africa as he tries to confirm and spread his toxic and destructive religion.

    I have noticed that the Archbishop of Canterbury and his bishops manage to avoid comments on the RC paedophiles. Is that ecumenicalism? Or perhaps a bit too near to problems in his own church?

  2. […] Catholic priest Finian McDonald, above, is one of five priests at a Minnesota school who were exposed as this week as predatory child abusers.McDonald confessed in a 2012 psychiatric session that he molested more than 200 boys, 18 of whom were children under his care in the dormitories of St John’s Preparatory School, a private boys’ school run by the monks in Collegeville. Her admitted that he drank heavily and freely preyed on students during his years as a dormitory prefect.  […]

  3. It’s quite clear that a great many people went into the clergy, not because they believed in a god but because of the trusted access to and control over vulnerable people it gave them.

    It’s also clear that the first priority of their fellow clergy was to defend the church and the clerical privileges it gave them, and not the interests of those being abused.

  4. Steve says:

    It is getting more and more sad that something so despicable has become so normal.

  5. carlynot says:

    Is it not sad that headlines like this don’t even raise an eyebrow anymore. Now a headline saying they have found a catholic priest that never abused a child would make me sit up and notice.
    Doubt that will ever happen.

  6. SallyinMI says:

    So why on Earth are these pedophile mills still non-profits? Seems to me that if there is a pattern of felonious behavior like in the Catholic Church, that they should be paying taxes, not raking in money to create more of these ‘schools’ of abuse.

  7. Cali Ron says:

    Off topic. Just want to wish my fellow American free thinkers a Happy Thanksgiving and extend Holiday greetings to all my other freethinker friends.
    Cheers

  8. Angela_K says:

    When one considers other professions that have access to children it is always the religious that come top of the list of abusers. The same religious types who always harp on about how moral and pious they are.

  9. Gindy51 says:

    RICO the hell out of these pedophiles and their enabling handlers.

  10. barriejohn says:

    No doubt the Vatican will be asking for his extradition, so that he can face charges and possible imprisonment in the Holy See (see earlier story on this site). And on the subject of Pope Frankie’s African visit, I noticed that he was extolling the virtues of “traditional values” and “the family”, and we all know what he means by that. They are coded terms for Catholic teaching about sex and relationships. He also has the gall to continue warning about the effects of climate change whilst refusing to allow Catholics to practise birth control!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-34937255

  11. 1859 says:

    This guy looks like someone’s friendly house elf – which would be funny if he hadn’t had his hands on vulnerable children. I wait for the day when people and politicians will realise that allowing religious believers any contact with children , is a crime against the child’s humanity. Of course, pigs will probably begin singing Puccini first.

  12. AgentCormac says:

    Apologies for going OT, but I just wanted to share the following news item about the 50+ people who are apparently about to be executed by those lovely Saudi sunni muslim overlords (you know, the ones who sponsor IS) for either being gay or criticising the theocracy in which they unfortunately find themselves living (well, living for now). If it wasn’t for the fact that the UK currently sells millions of pounds’ worth of arms to these bastards I have no doubt that our beloved PM would be advocating we bomb them too. Thanks to religion, what a wonderful world we live in.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-34931205

  13. Michael Glass says:

    The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia has uncovered evidence of child sexual abuse in institutions of all kinds, especially religious institutions. Catholic, Protestant and Jewish institutions have all been scrutinised and found wanting. The Royal Commission is still ongoing. check it out.

  14. John Humpf says:

    same old ….same old ….

  15. Robster says:

    Really, all clergy should be assumed to be guilty until proven otherwise. Clerics should not be permitted anywhere near under 15’s or for the good of humanity, near other breathing humans just to be sure.

  16. andym says:

    OT.(although I think Barry might want to make it on topic) This is a great laugh-and it includes our old friends the Westboro Baptists,

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/lucy-australopithecus-evolution-creationism-google-doodle-a6748081.html

  17. David Anderson says:

    Funny isn’t it that these people give themselves grand titles and dress differently to make themselves appear different to the rest of us. They issue orders about how their followers should go about contraception (not allowed) and conduct their sex lives. Also taking away the right of a woman to have an abortion and allowing her to die because of it.
    Yet we hear that when this scum are caught in these gross and dispicable acts they become “fallible” and very nice people.

    (Jeff is not a relation AFAIK)

  18. Broga says:

    @andym:: Curious and sensible humans were, and are, intrigued by Lucy and what she reveals. Crazy Creationists, a group of nutters, are terrified that she will upset their convictions that their dotty beliefs might be fiction. I agree that it is a great laugh none the less.

  19. andym says:

    Broga. My favourite is the one which accuses Google of racism, blissfully unaware that she has revealed her own racism.

  20. Trevor Blake says:

    “Organized and authorized child abuse, tempered with a hollow reputation for good deeds and distribution of expensive tickets to an imaginary fairy kingdom.” That’s my new definition of religion.

  21. barriejohn says:

    Anglican and Catholic churches under investigation – but the results may only be known in five years time!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34940723

    I forecast some shocking revelations.

  22. Stephen Mynett says:

    Plus even more time before something is done about it and the guilty will be either dead or have absconded. It is similar to the ongoing battles over contaminated blood, many of the brave victims who kept the fight going knew they would never see a result and the guilty knew the longer the investigations and inquiries went on played in their favour as many claimants would be dead before the end.

  23. barriejohn says:

    At least Sir John Chilcot hasn’t been put in charge. Shades of Jarndyce v Jarndyce!