The late Monsignor J. Jerome Boxleitner, the long-time head of Catholic Charities who died in 2013, is on a new list of priests accused of sexual abuse.
Boxleitner is one of 17 priests on the list released Wednesday by attorney Jeff Anderson.
Shortly before Boxleitner died, St. Paul officials wanted to name a building for him, but the priest said he didn’t want that, noting: “you should never name something after someone until they’ve been dead for 10 years, to be sure you haven’t made a mistake.”
The Pioneer Press said Anderson’s firm filed a notice of claim with the archdiocese for those 17. “A claim is a precursor to a lawsuit, but because the archdiocese has filed for bankruptcy protection, no new suits can be filed and the claims will be filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court as part of its reorganization,” the story said.
Boxleitner was widely lauded when he died in May, 2013, for his 21 years at Catholic Charities and his work with the homeless.
According to the Pioneer Press story, Anderson’s firm said Boxleitner:
“is accused of abusing a boy between 1975 and 1980 at St. Joseph’s Home for Children in Minneapolis.
“Boxleitner’s name appeared in news stories about clergy abuse last year, when documents were released under court order as part of a sexual abuse lawsuit. Former priest Michael G. Kolar, who was accused of sexually abusing underage girls in the 1970s, reportedly told church officials his misconduct was the result of his abuse at the hands of Boxleitner.”
An interesting note from a MinnPost story I wrote last year when it was announced that the St. Paul Central Downtown Library was being renamed for former St. Paul Mayor George Latimer:
Speaking about his initial embarrassment at learning of the library naming honor, Latimer recalled a conversation he had with the Rev. Jerome Boxleitner, the Catholic priest who ran the Dorothy Day homeless shelter in St. Paul for decades:
“I talked with him shortly before he died because we wanted to name something after him. He said absolutely not; that you should never name something after someone until they’ve been dead for 10 years, to be sure you haven’t made a mistake.
“I’m glad Chris Coleman and the others aren’t taking that advice [with the Latimer Library naming].”