In more than 50 years in the archdiocese, I have known many of them.
The recent list of priests credibly accused of child abuse, provided by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, named priests from the time span of the 1950s to the present date. The number of priests ordained during this period averaged about 10 a year, which would mean a total of 600 ordained in that number of years. This would mean, mathematically, that one priest, every two years, would be accused.
It really looks bad to see that number of 33, netted together from over those many years. However, having served as a priest in the archdiocese for more than 54 years and having continued to offer my help, I have known many of the priests who have given their best, working 60-plus hours a week, to offer masses, forgiving sins in the Sacrament of Penance, witnessing marriages, providing religious education for children and adults, giving counsel to the disheartened, comforting the families of those who have died, and providing for the poor as much as possible.
While realistically we need to offer thanks for them, at the same time we are encouraging our people to pray for those who have been injured by the priests who have been credibly charged for their actions over these past 60 years.
The Rev. LEONARD SIEBENALER, Hastings
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