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MN: St. John’s Abbey releases names of 18 monks suspected of child sex abuse

MN: St. John’s Abbey releases names of 18 monks suspected of child sex abuse

St. John’s Abbey, a Roman Catholic monastery in Collegeville, Minnesota has released a list of monks “likely to have offended against minors,” the Pioneer Press reported.

Of the monks listed on the abbey website and released to the media yesterday, seven are dead, two have been “dispensed from their religious vows and are no longer connected to the abbey” and nine are living at the abbey under supervision, Abbot John Klassen said in a statement.

Most of the 18 names had been made public previously.

The living monks are: Michael Bik, Richard Eckroth, Thomas Gillespie, Brennan Maiers, Finian McDonald, Dunstan Moorse, James Phillips, Francisco Schulte and Allen Tarlton.

Those deceased are Andre Bennett, Robert Blumeyer, Cosmas Dahlheimer, Othmar Hohmann, Dominic Keller, Pirmin Wendt and Bruce Wollmering.

The two who are no longer monks are Francis Hoefgen and John Kelly.

Child sexual abuse allegations against some of the monks were previously reported in the news.

Michael Bik was accused in 1997 of sexually abusing two teenage boys in the 1970’s when he taught at the parish school of St. Stephen Catholic Church in Anoka.

Eckroth was accused in 1993 of raping two boys at a St. John’s-owned cabin near Bemidji in the 1970s.

Schulte was named in civil lawsuits by three men who alleged he abused them as children in Raleigh, North Carolina and at a Puerto Rico boarding school operated by St. John’s.

While most the names have been made public before, the release of this list is a symbolic marker of progress.

Sexual abuse thrives in secrecy and the more we can shine a light on the evil deeds done in the dark, the safer children will be. The best way to protect children is to expose predators and the institutions that protect them.

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