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Continued: Abusive priest gets disability, support from Twin Cities archdiocese

Some school donors who found out were outraged.

“I didn’t think it was relevant,” Haschka said. “If that was a bad decision, then I made a bad decision.”

Clients accept the past

Gustafson has been hired at venues ranging from Pax Christi Church in Eden Prairie to the University of St. Thomas, where he was on a panel with an abuse victim.

Visitation Monastery in Minneapolis hired him to facilitate a two-year leadership course for a group of North Side residents, its website said.

“When somebody has worked on their issues, and comes through, that’s the mark of a person becoming whole,” said Sister Karen Mohan.

While his sponsors say Gustafson should be allowed to pursue his career, other Catholics say it is wrong for the church to promote a pedophile priest.

LaVonne Murphy was so disturbed when she saw Gustafson at a National Ministry Summit in Florida in 2008, sitting with archdiocese colleagues, that she wrote a letter to Archbishop John Nienstedt.

“I am in utter disbelief that this man is still approved by the diocese to work with parishes as they vision and create goals and plans for the future,” wrote Murphy, a longtime church administrator.

“The man has got to make a living, but he shouldn’t be at a church doing it,” said Murphy. “It’s the same venue where he committed his crimes.”

 

hopfen@startribune.com • 612-673-4511 tonyk@startribune.com • 612-673-4213

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