Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Minneapolis Archdiocese has a problem with sex-addict priests?

Dominican Father Reginald Whitt

Set up a new Task Force.
The archbishop has appointed a new vicar for ministerial standards, Dominican Father Reginald Whitt, a professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. He will assume full responsibility for all issues related to clergy sexual misconduct, the archdiocese said.

Start a new committee.
Father Whitt will appoint the members of the all-layperson task force, which is expected to convene this week. It will consist of at least six people from a variety of backgrounds — none of whom are employed by the archdiocese or any of its parishes.

Once again - it appears this is all about protecting 'children' - not that anything is wrong with that.  But I thought they already had some sort of program for all of that?  Evidently it didn't work?

Archbishop Nienstedt said there is “no room for misconduct among our clergy and our standard must be zero tolerance for abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. We hold a sacred trust. Our very vocation requires the highest standard of conduct so that all may be drawn to the person of Jesus Christ through our witness.” 
While the archbishop retains his authority in the archdiocese, he has committed that he will not interfere in the work of the vicar or the task force. - Catholic Spirit



  1. Maybe the committee can start by apologizing on behalf of the archdiocese for blatant hypocrisy after their deep involvement with the gay marriage process in Minnesota.

    Then, perhaps, they can get their OWN house in order before arranging the houses of others.

  2. This place is so screwed up and dysfunctional - it always has been.

  3. Terry, it's been that way ever since Adam and Eve.

  4. Thomas - very true. I just wanted to make some kind of note as to how things are going here. ;)

  5. Fr. Whitt reccomends that we pray for all in the Archdiocese.

  6. Good advice - thanks Nan.

  7. Maybe the Archbishop should come down off his throne and lead the archdiocese in actual prayer - public prayer - remove the choir robes and lead the people in prayer and penance - don't just delegate the healing process or set up more committees, or call in more lawyers.

    Fr. Laird was a lawyer before he became a priest - the archbishop had a vicar who was supposedly a professional.

  8. A sad story but one that must be exposed again in order to be made right. How long will it take? Who knows, but maybe as you say, Terry, if the Archbishop was to "come down off his throne," was to draw nearer to his people, maybe things could begin to change. Is that too much too ask? I hope Rome gets involved...prayers for your archdiocese.

    In the meantime:

    "There is always hope!" Pope Francis

  9. "Sex addict!" In my day we just called 'em perverts! Said as I reach for my Marlboro'sand my brown drink...

    Sorry for what you guys are going can be disillusioning.. but don't be..this is a good time to finally make things right.

    1. That's one of the best things you've typed here Mack. Thanks mate.

  10. The best part was the Neil Diamond angle. And the fact that the guy who was supposed to be the child safety advocate, rather than recognizing that any priest who writes rambling letters to Neil Diamond about guitarists who falsely accuse him of inappropriate sexual behavior with young boys (threatening never to bring his mother to another Neil Diamond concert again, if Neil doesn't do something to muzzle his guitarist!) is deranged and has no business being around children (especially given his propensity for collecting porn of the barely legal--at best!), responded with "Well, he didn't incriminate himself!"

    Never, ever trust the Catholic Church to protect your children. Or the local school district, or the Boy Scounts, either, for that matter. I'd recommend being wary of coaches, too.

    The unfolding story in MN is simply one that can't be made up. Apparently, the arrogance of the hierarchy remains amazingly robust, considering how naked the emperors have been rendered by all that has been made public.

  11. Shadowfax, keep in mind that the Church in MN is under attack due to the bishops support of marriage. While that doesn't excuse the way these things were handled, it explains the microscopic detail presented about those mistakes. I do wonder why people complain about how the Chancery does things when they could've started with the cops instead and chose not to. I really don't understand why the guy in Hugo made a copy of the laptops harddrive, then turned over the harddrive to the archdiocese; a) why not the cops? b) why keep a copy? Nor do I understand what's wrong with the mother of those poor children who should've called the police when her daughters reported that her son was abusing them.

  12. Nan - good comment - thanks. Yes - the Church is under attack here.

  13. I don't understand why any parents go to any church and not straight to the cops when their children claim abuse. So I'm totally with you there--it blows the mind that anybody in this day and age doesn't bypass the diocese and go straight to the police station.

    Apparently the guy who turned over the computer all those years ago did not see any child porn at the time. Adult porn on a priest's computer is distasteful, but hardly something the police will care about. He only looked at a few of the 1300 or so images; (it would take quite a while to look through 1300 porn photos, I would imagine). I tend to think he was pretty crafty to keep a copy; this was post-2002, so he apparently had learned enough not to trust the Church in such matters. He probably wanted to protect himself somehow if they ever tried to use it against him or pull him into court if this priest ever ended up in trouble. The one fact that does make me wonder is why it took him a few days to remember he had it, but then again, he may not have been paying too much attention to the story, could have been very busy with work, family, etc.

    As far as the Church being under attack........well, all I can say is that with friends like the hierarchy in this situation, the Church needs no enemies from the outside to deface her. I will be honest with you: I no longer live in MN, but most of our family does. I was driving through St. Cloud right about this time last year, and I saw a pro-traditional-marriage billboard that literally made me laugh out loud. I told my husband---they will lose, and furthermore, there has to be somebody working within the pro-traditional marriage camp that is sabotaging their efforts. I was half-joking, but half-serious. The billboard was of a couple that was so dowdy and downright weird looking that it made me, an old married mom of quite a few children, shudder. St. Could is very much a college town; I can only imagine what kind of reaction that billboard inspired in the young and hip. It was an absolute turn-off, and I have a deep and abiding respect and love for sacramental marriage.

    Anyway, I feel bad for all those who worked on the efforts in MN last fall, they must be incredibly angry at the Archbishop and his cronies for making a laughingstock of the whole movement. My son, who is living out there now, is incredibly disheartened and sad, as he felt that wonderful things were happening in the diocese, and this latest hypocrisy and clear lack of care for safety of children incredibly damages the moral authority of the diocese.

    As for all the details, I say put them out there, just make sure there are documents to back them up. Shine the light in all the dark corners. It might just help prevent the abuse and exploitation of any other children in the diocese.


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