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Tuesday’s lawsuit accuses the archdiocese of failing to inform law enforcement authorities that Thurner had sexually abused minor children. Anderson said an expert on mandatory reporting laws gave his office a written opinion that Roach and Carlson, as members of the clergy, were required to report abuse to law enforcement or to child protection officials.
“As a direct result,” the lawsuit states, “Thurner avoided criminal investigation and prosecution and continued to abuse minors.”
Under fire in Missouri
Anderson said he will seek to interview Carlson, under oath, for this latest lawsuit. The St. Louis archbishop also is facing legal troubles on the home front.
Carlson was accused of negligence this summer in a lawsuit filed in Missouri by the family of a teenage girl who said she was molested by a priest in the St. Louis archdiocese, the Associated Press reported.
The priest was charged with child endangerment last year. The suit also accuses Carlson of trying to tamper with evidence by asking for the return of a $20,000 check given by the priest to the family.
Finnegan said his information about Thurner indicates that he is still alive and living in the east metro area. Thurner retired from ministry in 1991 after serving at the Church of St. Therese in St. Paul.
The Rev. Kevin McDonough, a former vicar general in the archdiocese, asked Thurner to retire because of the lawsuits at that time, he said.
‘Tell us the truth’
Meanwhile, parish priests continue to speak out against Archbishop John Nienstedt’s handling of the sex abuse allegations.
In his sermon on Sunday, the Rev. Stephen O’Gara, pastor of the Church of the Assumption in downtown St. Paul, called on Nienstedt to address the allegations personally, not “through e-mails and letters in the Catholic Spirit.”
“I want us all to demand that he come forward,” said O’Gara. “Clean slate. Stand before a venue of people and answer the questions. Tell us the truth. Then maybe with that truth we can forgive.”
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