Demands made for Minnesota dioceses to release ‘secret lists’

Enough with the secret lists. Jean Hopfensperger of the Strib writes: “The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, already under fire for its handling of two cases involving sexual misconduct by priests, is now fighting a battle on a second front, with heightened demands that it release a list held in secret since 2004 of alleged clergy sex offenders. A court hearing on that issue in Ramsey County was the venue where allegations of a child pornography coverup first surfaced last week. At a hearing in Crookston, Minn., on Wednesday, attorneys for an abuse victim asked a judge to compel the local diocese to release its list. Hearings in New Ulm, Duluth and Winona are next.”

A qualitative step beyond Voter ID, perhaps … Brian Bakst of the AP says: “Voters who show up at some Minnesota polling places next month will encounter sign-in stations equipped with iPads or bar code scanners as part of an experiment designed to test whether more technology would cut wait times, save money and inspire more confidence in the election process. The electronic roster, or e-poll book, pilot project will take place in fewer than 10 cities and counties, but the results are being closely monitored by election officials across the state because lawmakers could broaden the technology’s use — if the price is right. On that score, a task force of lawmakers, elections administrators and others watching over the project met Wednesday to discuss programming challenges, hardware costs and data security.” I had a weird reflex thing when I read, “e-poll book.”

At, Ben Goessling takes a deeper interest in the “windfall clause” in the Vikings’ stadium contract: “The Wilfs reportedly paid $600 million to buy the Vikings from Red McCombs in 2005, and Forbes estimated the team’s value at $1.007 billion in August. That would mean roughly $100 million for the public if the Vikings were to change hands now, and with the value of the team expected to skyrocket as the 2016 opening of the stadium approaches, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the state and city in line for $100 million more if a sale were to occur several years down the road. … It’s worth noting that two of the other three Minnesota professional sports franchises (the Timberwolves and Twins) are owned by local businessmen, and the third (the Wild) is owned by Wisconsin native Craig Leipold, who bought the team from its original, Minnesota-based ownership group. Minnesotans in general tend to be a tad leery of owners from outside the state, or at least the Midwest, and those sentiments weren’t hard to detect in the local response to the Wilfs’ lawsuit.”

Oh, and $975 million doesn’t quite cover it. Richard Meryhew of the Strib says: “Even before the first chunk of earth is turned for the new Vikings’ stadium, project planners are finding out that $975 million doesn’t go nearly as far as they had hoped. Officials for the team and public authority overseeing construction have been forced to trim their project wish list to keep the downtown Minneapolis stadium within budget. Among the potential casualties: a 400-stall parking garage a block north of the stadium, a skyway linked to a ramp a block south, two large escalators and as much as 40 feet from the height of five massive, pivoting glass doors at the venue’s main entrance. ‘We only have $975 million in the budget, and there’s only so many things you can get under that number,’ said Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley.” Yeah, he said “only.”

On those 150 Target layoffs, Steve Alexander of the Strib says: “Target spokeswoman Amy Reilly said the layoffs were partly due to ‘our future model not supporting the current size of the team,’ as well as to eliminating duplication of responsibilities and less cost-effective operations. … said Stan Pohmer, a Twin Cities retail consultant. ‘The economy isn’t growing the rate retailers would like and that everybody was talking about a short while ago. And there’s the impact of the government shutdown. No one knows how long-term the shutdown will be, or if government workers will get retroactive back pay for the shutdown period. There’s a lot of uncertainty out there’.” It’s almost like someone intended it to be that way.

The Saints have a 25-year lease in Lowertown. Tad Vezner of the PiPress says: “The St. Paul Parks and Recreation Commission voted Wednesday to allow the St. Paul Saints to occupy a new Lowertown ballpark for up to 25 years, clearing another hurdle in the team’s long-term plan to move to the new $63 million stadium site. The commission vote was required for any city-owned park land where a lessee will occupy a property for more than five years and will result in a nonbinding recommendation to be forwarded to the city council approving the upcoming lease’s length.”

Very little about the Minnesota Security Hospital in St.Peter sounds good. The latest: Stribber Paul McEnroe writes: “A treatment team of psychologists, social workers and administrators at the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter are being blamed for the botched release of a violent patient who was discharged last summer and abruptly dumped at a homeless shelter in downtown Minneapolis. But the hospital’s ‘chaotic’ conditions also contributed to the lapses, according to an outside investigator hired by the Minnesota Department of Human Services to unravel the episode. The investigator concluded that hospital staff members responsible for the care of Raymond Traylor failed to work in tandem while operating ‘under enormous pressure’ and without any checks and balances.”

Frankly, mam, we can’t even imagine it. At, Erin Gloria Ryan writes: “Michele Bachmann has finally broken her heavy silence on Miley Cyrus’s send up of the Minnesota Congressman on last weekend’s SNL. She humblebragged about it. To her credit, Congress’s Duchess of Derp isn’t mad or offended by the sketch show (I mean, if I were her, I’d be mad at the fact that the sketch wasn’t very good; watching it conjured the same feelings that are conjured when a person screws up the national anthem at a baseball game), but she did use it as an opportunity to say hilariously out of touch things, like what a bespectacled high school principal might say in an ad for Pop Tarts that aired during Saturday morning cartoons in the late 1980’s. … Bachmann: What was kind of funny is the Monday after Saturday Night Live aired, we had a lot of calls in the office and people thought that that actually was me in the skit. I will tell you, as a 57-year-old woman, it’s been a long time since I was confused for a 20-year-old.”

Even Ol’ Sooch is disgusted with what’s going on up on the hill. In the PiPress, Joe Soucheray writes: “For an entity that is not even supposed to be a business, the Catholic Church is a big business in this town. The cathedral, alone, is a featured landmark of St. Paul, the way a golf course features its signature hole on a scorecard. The hand of the church is everywhere, parish by parish, neighborhood by neighborhood. St. Paul is a Catholic town, and Catholics are tired of this, embarrassed by the church having to put its hand down on one problem only to have another problem pop up the next week or month. The archdiocese does not appear to have its act together at all. … Throw the bums out; don’t move them around like puzzle pieces. Throw them the hell out.” And not a word about property taxes …

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Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 10/10/2013 - 08:34 am.

    I’ll be shocked

    if the Saint Paul Saints are still in operation 25 years from now.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/10/2013 - 08:54 am.

      It could happen

      Of course, they would have to use their games as a reason for playing baseball, rather than as a staging area for Fun Family Activities (isn’t watching the game fun enough?)..

    • Submitted by Thomas Anderson on 10/10/2013 - 09:24 am.

      Well it

      certainly wouldn’t be the first time you’ve been wrong. I’ll give you that.

  2. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/10/2013 - 10:51 am.

    Perhaps We Would Be Wise to Remember

    That, since large financial payouts have been routinely won by those accusing Catholic Priests (and other clergy) of sexually abusing them, it is inevitable that not every accusation of abuse is true.

    There have been cases where false accusations have been made only in an effort to accomplish financial gain for the accuser. Lawyers can always be found who will assist with such lawsuits (and charge hefty fees if they are successful).

    The release of these so-called “secret lists” will, in all likelihood, expose to suspicion (and in the current environment, conviction in the public eye) some excellent priests who have been falsely accused.

    Those who believe that no one would ever make up such an accusation against a clergy person do not comprehend the deeply dishonest means people in desperate financial circumstances will sometimes use to try to get their heads back above water.

    It is tragic that the Catholic church has proven itself to be unreliable in its investigation of its own priests leading to levels of trust which have often caused the general public to unjustifiably paint ALL it’s clergy with a very broad, dark brush,…

    but wholesale release of “secret lists” of all clergy who have ever been accused of abuse, even where investigation has shown those accusations to be be completely false, will accomplish little that is useful while doing unnecessary damage.

    Perhaps such lists and any and all associated materials could be turned over to a secular group, a group NOT including any of the lawyers who have made their own fame and fortune off discovering cases of abuse over which they might profit by filing law suits,…

    and such an unbiased group could examine these materials to discover and reveal the names and behaviors of any clergy who continue to be a danger to children and adolescents.

    This is probably unlikely, however, because of the Catholic Church’s unique theology of the priesthood which proclaims that, once ordained, priests are no longer merely human but are endowed by God for the rest of their earthly lives with special graces and gifts which lift them above and set them apart from the rest of us as closer to and better able to serve God than those who are not members of the priesthood.

    It is their reluctance to allow to become public the kinds of mistakes and misdeeds that would call into question that image of priests as closer to God and holier than others that has caused the Catholic Church to do things which, in retrospect, are revealed to be so deeply flawed.

    It is unlikely that the Catholic theology of the priesthood will ever change, however, which, sadly, likely means that some of the things the church does in response to those, whom it must seem to the church’s leadership are attempting to attack and destroy that unique brotherhood that is the priesthood, will not make sense to the rest of the world,…

    and will continue, in seemingly inexplicable ways, to value the members of that brotherhood above all others including those whom individual priests have victimized.

    What’s really needed in this situation are more effective ways of helping victims of actual abuse to heal the wounds they suffered as a result of that abuse – counseling and recovery techniques that involve healing the victim’s wounds rather than centering on taking revenge against the perpetrator,…

    such revenge serving no useful purpose in the actual recovery of the victim,…

    which is not to say that those who would perpetrate abuse should not be prosecuted for doing so.

    Sadly successful recovery would likely preclude Catholic victims of abuse from continuing in the church, since the church’s attitude toward all those who have ever been involved in prohibited sexual activity, would continue to re-victimize these victims, who, although they can find healing for the wounds they suffered, can’t change the fact that what happened to them actually happened.

  3. Submitted by Linda Miller on 10/10/2013 - 11:55 am.

    clergy list

    why isn’t evidence of potential crimes – the list of clergy suspected of preying on children – something that the archdiocese is obligated to release OR face charges of obstructing justice? or being an accessory to a crime?

    • Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/10/2013 - 01:48 pm.

      It Is

      But in years past, the church reserved the right, as with all crimes, not to contact civil authorities when a crime was confessed to a priest (which was even the case with priests confessing to their fellow priests, bishops or cardinals).

      Of course abused individuals were always free to contact civil authorities regarding their abuse, and many did, but it is a testament to the level of devotion the Catholic church still asks and often receives from its members that many victims and their families have been willing to deal with abuse that happened within the church, itself, without contacting civil authorities.

  4. Submitted by jason myron on 10/10/2013 - 06:46 pm.

    Considering Mr. Testers’s accuracy

    in predicting the outcome of the Marriage Amendment, the Voter ID amendment, the SCOTUS ruling on the ACA, a GOP senate takeover, a Romney landslide and the republicans maintaining a majority in the state legislature, I’d say the Saints future is secure.

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