Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Woman sues Keating for alleged abuse when she was 13

My apologies to Stribber Tony Kennedy, who had the most detailed story last night on the sudden departure of the Rev. Michael Keating. I should have linked to him earlier: “A prominent Catholic priest and professor about to be sued for allegedly sexually abusing a Twin Cities-area girl more than a decade ago has taken a voluntary leave of absence from his priestly and teaching duties. The Rev. Michael J. Keating, a popular Catholic Studies teacher at the University of St. Thomas, is on a voluntary leave of absence … Keating, 57, is 29 years older than the alleged victim, who Anderson said was 13 when the abuse began. That would mean the alleged abuse began about 15 years ago, before Keating completed his religious studies and was ordained as a priest in 2002.”

Meanwhile, today’s MPR story is also quite detailed. It says: “Keating was in his 40s at the time. The woman told MPR News that her family reported the abuse to Archbishop Harry Flynn in 2006 but an internal review determined there wasn’t sufficient evidence to remove Keating from ministry. Instead of providing comfort, she said, church officials repeatedly questioned her for details and determined it wasn’t abuse. …     His previous lectures include a February 2011 speech titled ‘Chastity: Attaining Noble Masculinity,’ delivered at the Church of St. Helena in Minneapolis, according to a church bulletin. Keating was a family friend and frequent guest at Sunday dinner, the woman who is suing Keating told MPR News. She said the abuse took place at her family’s home when she was 13 to 15 years old, sometimes while Keating read books to her on the couch after dinner. She remembers that one book, The Chronicles of Narnia, was so large that Keating could touch her while reading it and no one would notice. ‘I would be abused behind the book, behind Narnia,’ she said. Keating also rubbed against her in a sexual way, she said, and touched her inappropriately.”

A fresh spin on runaway grooms … Kevin Wallevand of WDAY-TV in Fargo reports: “It was set to be one of Fargo’s perfect fall weddings: A ballroom reception, a much sought-after band, limos and a bridal suite … Then, the phone call: The bride was ‘left at the altar’ and out thousands of dollars. But in the end, Michelle Marxen is having the last laugh, and CCRI [Creative Care for Reaching Independence] clients are coming out the winners. … Michelle says she spent the next few days calling family, friends and vendors … to cancel, but was still stuck paying for. Marxen: ‘Contracts are contracts.’ So, out thousands of dollars, Michelle and her family decided to make lemonade out of lemons and still throw a party for someone else. The crystal ballroom would not be without celebration on October 19th. Marxen: ‘It is a very nice pumpkin.’ No wedding, but a Halloween Celebration for the clients of CCRI.” The groom might as well keeping on going …

Don’t feed the foxes. Dan Kraker of MPR reports: “Concerned that foxes near the Park Point area of Duluth are becoming too comfortable near populated areas, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has asked people to stop feeding the animals. Foxes have lived for years on Park Point, the seven-mile spit of land that sticks out into Lake Superior beyond the Aerial Lift Bridge. Although some people have long fed them, a growing number of people are complaining about it, DNR Assistant Area Wildlife Manager Martha Minchak said.”                                            

The latest on the 9-year-old stowaway kid … Rochelle Olson of the Strib says: “The custody and possible treatment for a 9-year-old airplane stowaway will be discussed at a Hennepin County District Court hearing on Wednesday. … Wednesday’s hearing will set in motion a plan for getting the boy care. The process could lead to him being removed from his home, but that seems unlikely for now. The boy’s father said last week that he believes he can work with him, provided he gets some help from professionals. The child cannot face criminal charges because of his age. But he will turn 10 in January, and any transgressions beyond that birthday could lead to criminal proceedings in the juvenile justice system.”

Wisconsin is getting safer … The AP says: “Traffic fatalities appear to be decreasing in Wisconsin, in large part because of a drop in motorcyclists’ deaths, traffic officials said.  The Wisconsin Department of Transportation said 396 people had died in crashes as of Sept. 30 — 80 fewer than at the same time last year. … David Pabst, the DOT’s director of the bureau of transportation safety, said the decrease in motorcycle deaths is a major reason for the overall decline in fatalities. According to statistics compiled Oct. 7, 72 motorcyclists had died in crashes this year, compared to 96 at that time last year. Four motorcycle passengers had died, down from 14 the year before. … He credited the decrease to good weather for riding and motorcyclists taking safety precautions. Three-fourths of the motorcyclists who died last year weren’t wearing helmets, Pabst said.”

The GleanMPR’s Tim Nelson has some more fan reaction to those Vikings personal seat licenses: “I’m not going to participate in the stadium thing. I think it’s gotten way out of hand,” [Al Dougherty] said. That sentiment held true for many fans. They say the team’s plans to charge the one-time seat fees to get season tickets at the new stadium will simply price them out of the game. But others think there are good reasons to pay the Vikings thousands of dollars more for their seats. Ron Moore is one of them. He is a season ticket holder from Des Moines, Iowa. He’s a die-hard Vikings fan and he’s ready to put his money where his seat is — near the 30-yard line. ‘It’s the cost of doing business,’ Moore said. He wants to be there for what he’s hoping will be the next generations of the Vikings — maybe the successors to the legendary Super Bowl teams of Bud Grant, or the middling hopefuls that have played in the Metrodome of late. For Moore, it’s an investment in better football. ‘That’s what I think this NFL is all about. It financially is the franchise being able to afford to bring in the elite players to win. You know, we have the best running back in the NFL, but we can’t find the correct chemistry as far as quarterback and receivers to take us to the next level.’ ” When somebody else winning means that much to you …

Good luck stopping Woodbury … Bob Shaw of the PiPress writes: “Afton is hoping to become Woodbury-proof. City officials are considering a new zone along Manning Avenue, designed to keep Woodbury-style suburbia from cascading into Afton’s open fields. … The barrier proposal is the latest attempt by 2,900-population Afton to deal with a neighbor that is more than 20 times its size. Woodbury officials have been proud of the city’s fast growth, which has brought good shopping, plentiful jobs and rising property values to the city. But many Afton residents see Woodbury spreading like a wildfire — with a planned 20,000-person development and a proposed 580-acre office park right on its border. The growth has left Afton struggling to maintain its rural traditions.” Who needs trees, fields and quiet when you can have another Panera-TJMaxx-Burger King-Home Depot complex?

Going where no local columnist has gonePhil Mushnick of the New York Daily News says: “We in the media — especially those working event broadcasts — have a horrible habit of blindly or wishfully reporting great achievers are additionally blessed: They’re great humans. Among many others, we did it with Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong. Last year, we began to do it with Adrian Peterson … Perhaps, given current standards among NFL players — mostly college men, no less — Peterson qualifies as a man of good character. Still, I’m stuck with what I’ve got. And it’s sickening the NFL’s latest MVP, hours after his son died — allegedly murdered — declared he was ‘ready to roll,’ ready to play football. Me? I’d be fighting for breath, my knees weak with grief, demanding to know why, who, how. Then, I suspect, I’d seethe with rage, swearing retribution. … With his resources, how could Peterson, the NFL’s MVP, have allowed his son to remain in such an environment? Did he not know, or not care? Or not care to know? Or not know to care? Peterson couldn’t have provided his son a better life, a longer life?”

Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Annette Caruthers on 10/14/2013 - 02:35 pm.

    NYDaily News Comment

    How Peterson handled the death of his son: Many people deal with grief by keeping busy, rather than sitting in a crumpled heap. This reporter’s comment is a below-the-belt punch and I am sad that MinnPost printed this. Further, how is Mushnick to judge what steps Peterson took to care for his son? Did he participate in the conversations with the child’s mother? If Mushnick has a crystal ball he should have told Peterson what was coming, so he could change his son’s care. Now it’s too late, except for the tears.

    • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 10/14/2013 - 03:32 pm.

      Ditto Annette

      I’d like to call Mushnick a piece of something, but then I’d be banned from MinnPost. There are far too many questions out there to even suggest this kind of a judgment.

  2. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/14/2013 - 03:38 pm.

    Regarding Mr. Mushnick

    I generally ignore columns and comments from people whose only attitude toward the world seems to be that the problems everyone else has would be solved if we were all only JUST LIKE THEM.

    People, whether columnists, politicians or clergy who spout that attitude are generally useless to anyone who doesn’t share their same serious psychological dysfunctions, among those dysfunctions the inability to experience or express sufficient levels of compassion and empathy to comprehend that there are people who grew up in and whose lives include completely different circumstances from their own,…

    including that there are as many ways of grieving as their are people experiencing grief..

  3. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 10/14/2013 - 04:15 pm.

    “Noble Masculinity”

    Given the circumstances, I especially like Mr. Keating’s lecture title.

Leave a Reply