41 St. Cloud Catholic Clergy “Credibly Accused” of Sexual Abuse
ProPublica, an "independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism with moral force," Tuesday published an online database listing all known Catholic clergy nationwide credibly accused of sexual abuse or misconduct.
As of publication, it is the only nationwide database of official disclosures. That's because the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops does not publicly release any centralized, countrywide collection of clergy members who have been credibly accused of sexual assault. ProPublica organized its data base over the course of months, collecting lists of credibly accused clergy as they were originally released by each diocese.
In Minnesota, a staggering 251 clergy have been credibly accused of sexual abuse or misconduct, including 41 in St. Cloud. Reports were revealed for St. Paul/Minneapolis, St. Cloud, Duluth, Crookston, New Ulm and Winona-Rochester. See the numbers below:
- Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis – 104.
- Diocese of St. Cloud – 41.
- Diocese of Duluth – 37.
- Diocese of Crookston – 26.
- Diocese of New Ulm – 25.
- Diocese of Winona-Rochester – 18.
The St. Cloud report lists all 41 Catholic clergy by name, their status, what they were accused of, birth year and ordination year as known.
The results, while shocking, are likely minimal and incomplete. For one, each diocese is allowed to set its own standard for determining credibility of allegations. Second, according to ProPublica, 41 diocese and eparchies across the US have not released lists of known allegations of sexual abuse or misconduct. Thirdly, many diocese publish insufficient to understand the scope of abuse or misconduct. Finally, perpetrators of abuse are rarely included in the data that dioceses report publicly.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The information published by ProPublica and referenced here includes clergy members identified by individual Catholic dioceses and religious orders as "credibly accused" of sexual misconduct. Inclusion in lists released by the religious groups does not mean an individual has been charged with or convicted of a crime, or that the individual is a criminal suspect, unless otherwise indicated. Each diocese or order defines "credibly accused" individually, some dioceses haven't published lists at all, the amount of data provided varies by dioceses, and many omit clergy other than priests who've been accused.