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Continued: In a first, judge orders archbishop to testify about clergy sex abuse

Limits imposed on testimony

Van de North, however, did limit the scope of the sworn testimony. He said Nienstedt could testify under oath for a half day and McDonough for a full day. The judge also narrowed the scope of discovery for the “negligent supervision’’ charges in the case to the period of 1970 to 1985.

Van de North also ruled that Anderson could take testimony under oath from the Rev. John Brown, now retired in Maplewood, whom Anderson alleged had abused children in the 1950s and 1960s. How the archdiocese handled his case could shed light on its handling of Adamson’s and others, Anderson claimed.

The archdiocese opposed releasing the names of priests who had been accused of abusing children since 2004. That list would be different from the names released in December, because the priests on the earlier list had been determined by the archdiocese to be “credibly accused.”

The new list would contain the names of all priests who had been the subject of child abuse complaints to church officials.

The archdiocese argued that priests who had been falsely accused of abuse could have their reputations tarnished. In response, Van de North said the new archdiocese list could be filed “under seal, accompanied by a through explanation of why public disclosure is unreasonable.” The names could be disclosed by later court action.

The archdiocese said Tuesday that protecting those falsely accused remained critical.

“We strongly assert our pursuit of justice for any who are falsely accused,” the archdiocese wrote in its statement. “All of these goals are the basis for every action and decision we are making regarding this ongoing disclosure.”


Jean Hopfensperger • 612-673-4511

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