Sunday, October 6, 2013

Statement by Jennifer Haselberger

Note: The following is a media release by Jennifer Haselberger dated October 5, 2013.

I have been asked to comment about the reaction of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis to the recent news stories in the press.

Beginning in July of 2013, I provided Minnesota Public Radio with information regarding acts of sexual and other misconduct involving several members of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, as well as the account of my unsuccessful efforts to convince the Archdiocesan administration to take the necessary steps to address these issues. My hope was that by making this information public it would serve as a warning about predatory priests currently serving in the Archdiocese.

I have the utmost respect for and confidence in the vast majority of priests serving in this Archdiocese, and I was honored to work on behalf of them, the men and women religious, and the lay faithful of this local church. It was with great sadness that I resigned my position as Chancellor for Canonical Affairs in April of 2013. However, as I explained to Archbishop Nienstedt in my letter of resignation, I had come to the conclusion that it had become impossible for me to continue in that position given my personal ethics, religious convictions, and sense of integrity.

I asked then, as I ask now, that Archbishop Nienstedt take his responsibilities towards the protection of the young and the vulnerable seriously. I asked that he permit a comprehensive, external review of the files of all clergy of the Archdiocese, and that following this review he remove from ministry and make public the list of clergy who have been determined to have engaged in acts of sexual misconduct, as well as those whom could reasonably be assumed to pose a threat to children and young people. Until this occurs, I do not believe that it can be said that the Archdiocese is honoring its promise to protect.

Updates: New Documents Show Church Leaders Debated Legality of Priest's Porn – Madeleine Baran (Minnesota Public Radio, October 7, 2013).
Mother Alleges Wider Church Coverup of Clergy Sexual Misconduct – Tony Kennedy (Star Tribune, October 8, 2013).
St. Paul Police Will Reopen Child Pornography Investigation of Priest – Mike Cronin, Tom Scheck, and Madeleine Baran (Minnesota Public Radio, October 8, 2013).
Task Force to Look at Sex Misconduct by Clergy Members – Emily Gurnon (Pioneer Press, October 9, 2013).
For an Abusive Priest, Retirement Income Came with a Premium – Madeleine Baran (Minnesota Public Radio, October 9, 2013).
New Church Task Force on Clergy Abuse Begins Its Work – Rupa Shenoy (Minnesota Public Radio, October 9, 2013).
Woman Files Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against St. Thomas Priest and Professor – Madeleine Baran (Minnesota Public Radio, October 14, 2013).
Archdiocese of Wobegon – Grant Gallicho (Commonweal, October 14, 2013).

Related Off-site Links:
Under Fire, Archbishop Nienstedt Scrambles to Respond – Jean Hopfensperger (Star Tribune, October 6, 2013).
Victims Group Dismisses Archdiocese Review of Clergy Sexual Abuse Cases as 'Nothing But a Smokescreen' – Mike Cronin, Madeleine Baran, Tom Scheck, Jon Collins, and Rupa Shenoy (Minnesota Public Radio, October 6, 2013).
Archdiocese Coverup Allegations Draw Chastisement, Charity – Jim Adams (Star Tribune, October 6, 2013).
Archdiocese Case Reads Like a Dan Brown Novel – Jon Tevlin (Star Tribune, October 5, 2013).
Washington County Attorney Opens Investigation of Priest; Archdiocese Attorney Says No Evidence of Child Porn Found – Dan Browning, Kevin Giles and Kevin Duchschere (Star Tribune, October 5, 2013).
Former St. Paul Archdiocese Employee Asks for Comprehensive Review of Clergy – Jackie Crosby (Star Tribune, October 5, 2013).
Minnesota Archdiocese Accused of Withholding Child Porn from Police – Joe Winter (National Catholic Reporter, October 4, 2013).
Archdiocese Hid Hugo Priest's Child Porn Stash, St. Paul Police Say – Emily Gurnon (Pioneer Press, October 4, 2013).
Former Official: Archdiocese Didn't Report Priest's Pornography – Madeleine Baran and Mike Cronin (Minnesota Public Radio, October 4, 2013).
Rev. Peter Laird, Top Deputy of Archdiocese, Resigns – Madeleine Baran and Rupa Shenoy (Minnesota Public Radio, October 3, 2013).
Former Archdiocesan Accountant: Church Paid Priests Despite Sexual Misconduct – Madeleine Baran and Tom Scheck (Minnesota Public Radio, September 30, 2013).
Archdiocese Knew of Priest's Sexual Misbehavior, Yet Kept Him in Ministry – Madeleine Baran (Minnesota Public Radio, September 23, 2013).

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