Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Lobbied Against Extending Statutes of Limitations for Sex Abuse Cases


Click here to read: “Archdiocese led lobby to stop abuse law change,” by Tony Kennedy, Star Tribune, November 5, 2013.

Excerpt: 

An internal accounting analysis prepared by the archdiocese shows that the lobbying association known as the Minnesota Religious Council received more than $800,000 from the Catholic Church during a seven-year period ending in the middle of 2008. A similar analysis was not available for subsequent years, but state lobbying records show the council spent more than $425,000 on lobbyists from 2006 through 2012.

Lobbying records also show the council doubled its lobbying force to six individuals on March 22, 2013, just weeks before the passage of the Child Victims Act. That law eliminated the statute of limitation for child sexual abuse cases going forward. It also created a three-year window for litigation of many previously barred claims in cases where churches, schools and other institutions failed to provide protection to children.

Editor’s note: Do we think it’s any different here? How much has the Archdiocese of Philadelphia given the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference? We MUST FIGHT for the same legislation. This would not only bring justice to victims, it would also help protect Pennsylvania’s children from future abuse. Let your state representative know.

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17 Responses to “Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Lobbied Against Extending Statutes of Limitations for Sex Abuse Cases”

  1. AGREED, THIS SHOULD BE THE LAW IN PA, TOO. ( GUESS TIM DOLAN IS NOAT OFF THE HOOK NOW FOR WHAT HE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN IN HIS AD.

  2. Speaking of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis-St. Paul and the current crises and controversies there and with the University of St. Thomas, the following is offered for your review:

    Rev. Reginald Whitt, professor of canon law at University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis – Director of Task Force to Review Child Safety Procedures, Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

    “Canon law is very eloquent on what a bishop is supposed to do, but there is no list of Thou Shalt Nots,” says Father Reginald Whitt (2002). “These (sex abusers) are criminals, but they are our criminals and we can’t lose them. Indeed, the bishops have a duty to try to save them,” says the Rev. Reginald Whitt, professor of canon law at University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. (2002)

    “……BISHOPS HAVE A DUTY TO TRY TO SAVE THEM (sex abuser priests)…..” Well, Fr. Whitt, where is it written (no, not in text or canon law…….it is written in one’s heart and soul) that the bishops have a duty to try to save the CHILDREN ABUSED and INNOCENT CHILDREN from the risk of abuse?

    Seems like little has changed since these issues were studied over a decade ago by during the Dallas Charter Charade of the USCCB.

    Father Whitt has a degree in canon law and civil law. Which perspective will take prominence and priority when he reviews the findings of the task force committee he established to review the debacle in the archdiocese? It is humanly, ethically and morally IMPOSSIBLE to avoid/resolve the conflicts of interest from both perspectives (civil and canon law) when attempting to review and support the rights of priests vs the rights of child victims.

    Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Kansas City move over…………….here come the Twin Cities and their unique brand of US Catholic Church leadership.

  3. In Australia too, Canon Law states all clergy are entitled to their good name, that’s why they have dealt inhouse for years until recently, now exposed, being at the mercy of their bishops and superiors who have fought against all, for the good name of the church, irrespective if the clergy themselves have wanted to step up and be counted, take what’s coming to them and be healed.
    With no convictions recorded, it was back to the drawing board again until the next time….

  4. What is the current situation in PA? I know there were people speaking in Harrisburg in (?) Sept. Are there pending bills or is there any pending decision about SOL that we can contact legislators about? Or is it just an ongoing fight to let them know our wishes as voters? What precise message can we leave with their offices? Thanks for keeping us informed on these reports!

  5. Funding lobbyists by the rcc is tantamount to an admission of Guilt, only those hiding enablers and abusers have to fear changes in the SOL /Window legislation, I encourage it , I have nothing to hide does chaput and the rcc have conduct they wish to remain secret ?

  6. This is kind of off subject, but something that has been going through my mind the last few days.I am sure that most of you are familiar with the situation with bullying that has enveloped the Miami Dolphins football team. Many of his teammates are rallying behind Richie Incognito , the person who is accuse of being the bully. Meanwhile the person who was bullied is being accused of being too soft, not much of a man. According to many Jonathan Martin should have challenged Incognito to a fight. There is a pattern here that seems all too familiar in our society. Victims are often times challenged, why they didn’t fight back, why they allowed someone to do that to them.I have even heard that said in regards to victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. Why didn’t you tell someone? Why didn’t you run away? Why didn’t you kick him somewhere. Women who have been raped for years have been hearing these questions from defense attorneys.Blame the victim. I am sure that at sometime in our lives, most of us have had to confront bullies. There were a few bullies in my neighborhood and growing up in Roslyn. In high school , the problem got worse. Some kids were bullied on a daily basis. I was not. But I kept quiet, and today that bothers me. Most of the kids were not bullies or being bullied but we all kept quiet. We did not say a word. I think most of us just wanted to avoid being the next victim. Catholic priests who abused kids, routinely bullied their victims. They threatened that they would abuse a sibling,that their parents would not believe them, that they would get expelled from school,the list is endless. The priest who molested me told me not to tell anyone or else. He never told me what the or else was, so I went home and told my mother. It did no good. I often wonder about the Catholic priests who never abused a kid but knew something was wrong when the priest brought a twelve year old to the rectory to see his train set.I guess they were like those of us who sat by and watched other kids being bullied. I guess it’s like Richie Incognito’s teammates saying they knew nothing abut what was going on. They didn’t want to be the next victim.

    • Jim,
      You make a lot of good points. Bullying is starting to be addressed in grade schools and high schools more and although now there is cyberbullying it seems they are doing a lot of education and workshops from what I have seen in my kids high schools and grade schools. I was bullied in 7 and 8th grade by the girls not the boys and it was hell. It affected my confidence til well into my 20s now I don’t let anyone bully me and I stand up for myself but I wish I had had the support and education that is now available to my kids. We had a few issues with my kids when they were younger being bulled or not getting along with other kids etc but they were addressed immediately which is a big difference from when I was growing up and its a good thing.

  7. The predator I was involved with almost didn’t go to jail or get parole that fact scared the heck out of me and that is why I support changes in the laws. I know how things work. The catholic church did not handle these predator priests properly. They put concern of the priests over that of innocence children. Now they are stuck in a bad situation…….a situation of their own making and they are still avoiding taking full responsibility for their actions despite their empty apologies. So they cry lawsuits will make them bankrupt but they brought this on their own heads. Its ironic that they want mercy compassion and a free passs from their consequences when they have had none for past victims and possibly future victims. Have they ever stopped and thought about the devastation they have caused in survivors lives. Surviors who cant hold down jobs because of addictions………even the fact that grandparents will never have grandkids because their son or daughter committed suicide……..so many horrible realitites they cant even imagine…….its poor me poor church what about the poor victims……..?

    • CONFUSED OLD VIOLATED OLD LADY Reply November 10, 2013 at 2:00 am

      aBeth all I hear from friends is tht they are getting sermons stating that the news media is picking on the church all the time…..2ONDER WHY????
      THE HIERARCHY IS TO BLAME FOR COVERING UP OR TRYING TO COVER IT UP AND NOT POROTECT THE INNOCENT. THEY ARE MORE GUILTY THAN THE PRIEST PERVERTS FOR THEIR LACK OF ACTION TO PROTECT THE INNOCENET.
      nOW I MOVE ON TO A ? THAT HAS ALWAYS BUGGED ME AND IT IS A ? O FUAL CITIZENSHIP? CAN THE HIERARCHY MAINTAIN A DUAL CITIZENSHHIP ( OR ANYONE ELSE WITH ANOTHER COUNTRY) AND STILL B E A CITIZEN OF THIS COUNTRY/ DID THE VATICAN, AS A SEPARATE STATE, INSIST THAT THIS BE COVERED UP AND THE PRELATES LOYALTY TO THE VATICAN PREVENT THEM FROM OBEYING OUR LAWS BY NOT REPORTING ALL OF THE INCIDENTS THAT HURT SO MANY AND REALLY VIOLATED U.S. LAWS IN EVERY STATE? HOW CAN THEY HAVE LOYALTY TO ANOTHER STATE ( THE VATICAN) AND DISOBEY U.S. LAWS? SHOULD THEY LOSE THEIR CITIZENSHIP IN THIS COUNTRY? AND WHY ARE THEY NOT PROSECUTED FOR FAILURE TO OBEY OUR LAWS????

      • I am also angry at the officials. They were like the mother who doesn’t protect her child from incest in order to keep her marriage. Forgave the monster who violated me years ago as i know he was very sick. But cannot forgive those who transferred him year after year. I knew 4 priests on the accused list and one more a friend is reporting.
        The church has been my center and now I am feeling empty trying to discover if there is still a place for me there.

        • suzpt,
          While I was not abused my self I had a lot of similar thoughts as you. People that don’t protect kids are cowards. We say at mass “what we do and fail to do”. There is a lot church leaders did and failed to do.

      • I have often said the same, in particular in reference to mental reservation used by clergy under Obedience and those answerable to Rome.
        Americas Oath of Allegiance includes just that; I swear…….without mental reservation or purpose of evasion……

      • A rose by any other name would smell the same. You must think we are all stupid.

      • Pope Francis updated some laws in the Vatican. It was my understanding from reading a few articles that is maybe easier now to go after Vatican officials that have been involved with child sexual abuse. I believe a few articles a few months back were posted as to these law changes.Your other questions maybe someone else can better address them then myself. It is my understanding that many cannon laws need to be revised also.

  8. This coming week, the USCCB is having its annual meeting where they elect the new president for the USA Bishops and Cardinals. What’s the likelihood that this august group will be taking up this horrific matter during the course of their meetings?

    Since 2002, the Catholic faithful here in America have witnessed time and again, the duplicity, insincerity, hypocrisy and untruthful conduct, behavior and decision-making of many of the religious leaders of the dioceses and archdioceses across this country. Over the past several months, Bishop Myers as well as Archbishop Nienstedt in Minneapolis-St. Paul have been shown, via statements, evidence, correspondence, etc., to be unable and unwilling to protect the children and young adults of the Catholic faithful in their charge. Along with Bishop Finn in Kansas City, it is well past the time that any further consideration be given these “leaders” and push for the tough and necessary legislative proposals that will help to protect ALL children, now and in the future.

    So, for next week, the USCCB Leadership will be on display in Baltimore. Yes, indeed, the newest oxymoron in the world of today…………USCCB LEADERSHIP.

    Michael Skiendzielewski
    Captain (retired)
    Philadelphia Police Dept.

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