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The Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis argued that only priests accused of criminal sexual misconduct should have their names and files made public, while attorneys for the alleged victim said the standard should be broader.
A special master judge appointed to handle certain aspects of the case, Judge John Schumacher, had recommended that Van de North adopt the archdiocese position.
Finnegan argued that the standard needed to be broader to taken into account the dangers posed by priests such as the Rev. Joseph Gallatin. Gallatin had admitted to touching a boy who was sleeping, rubbing his chest and abdomen, and admitted to being attracted to boys as young as 12 years old.
“This is information that parents and children in the archdiocese need to know,” Finnegan said.
But archdiocese attorney Tom Wieser argued that releasing the names of all priests accused of any kind of abuse could injure the reputation of those unjustly and falsely accused. While the plaintiffs portray it as a list of “bad guys,” “we have an equally long list of false and fabricated accusations,” he said.
“There is no reason their reputations should be sullied,” Wieser said.
Jean Hopfensperger • 612-673-4511