Judge rejects archdiocese move to block testimony in clergy abuse cases

  • Article by: ANTHONY LONETREE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 17, 2014 - 7:25 AM

Church also must release larger list of priests accused of sexually abusing children.

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Archbishop John Nienstedt spoke with reporters after he gave a homily Sunday morning at Our Lady of Grace church in Edina in which he apologized for the handling of priest sexual misconduct cases.

Photo: Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune

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A Ramsey County District Court judge on Sunday rejected a request by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis that he delay a previous order requiring Archbishop John Nienstedt to testify about the church’s handling of clergy sexual abuse cases.

The archdiocese asked Judge John Van de North in motions last Thursday that he drop the earlier demands while the church proceeded with an appeal.

The judge also refused on Sunday to drop a related requirement — made as part of his Feb. 11 order — that the archdiocese release the names of all local priests accused of sexually abusing children since 2004.

The church previously released a list of clergy who had been accused before 2004.

Van de North’s order requiring the new list as well as testimony from both Nienstedt and former Vicar General Kevin McDonough came in a case filed by “John Doe 1.” His attorneys claim that the Rev. Thomas Adamson was reassigned to Minnesota Catholic parishes decades ago even after church officials knew he had assaulted children.

The archdiocese argued that Nienstedt should not have to testify about cases that occurred before he became archbishop.

On Friday, the church issued a statement saying it was filing a motion with the state Court of Appeals challenging Van de North’s order.

Anthony Lonetree

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