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A Look At Bishop Donald J. Kettler’s Statement

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Along with the St Cloud list that was released Bishop of St Cloud, Rev. Donald J. Kettler released a statement.   The words were interesting in a number of areas:

For immediate release……………
When I became Bishop of the Diocese of Saint Cloud, in November 2013, I immediately began connecting with people, familiarizing myself with policies, and reviewing important documents that I am responsible for as Bishop. Part of that process has involved reviewing files regarding claims of sexual abuse of minors by clergy who served in parishes within the Diocese of Saint Cloud. I am struck by the courage and strength of the victims of abuse who have come forward. And I am impressed with the pastoral responses of my predecessors. So in mid-December, I decided to release the names of those clergy. Therefore, I asked my senior staff to make certain I had a complete list of all the clergy who had likely abused minors. It is my intent to continue to provide a pastoral response to such abuse. In that spirit, I am now disclosing a list of all clergy identified, to date, who were likely involved in the sexual abuse of minors. I am also disclosing the parishes where each of those clergy served within the Diocese of Saint Cloud. The list includes Diocesan priests as well as clergy who are members of religious communities who served in parishes in the Diocese. Additionally on this list are the names of several men of a religious community from outside the Diocese who served in schools within our Diocese.
It is my hope that the release of these names will provide validation to those victims who have been sexually abused and have already come forward. I pray it will also give strength to those who have remained silent and allow them to come forward.
The following statement is a part the Sexual Misconduct policy for the
Diocese of Saint Cloud:
If someone has sexually abused you or exploited you, and you feel that the time is right to come forward, there are professionals you can talk to about your experience. They can assist you in getting the help you need. You do not have to face or name your abuser. You don’t have to give any information you are not comfortable disclosing. It does not matter how long ago the abuse was. Assistance is available to you.

Let’s look at a couple of the items:

“Part of that process has involved reviewing files regarding claims of sexual abuse of minors by clergy who served in parishes within the Diocese of Saint Cloud.”

What files did he look at?    What is in the files?    What choices were made as the files were reviewed?

” I am struck by the courage and strength of the victims of abuse who have come forward.”

A very true statement, but what about those who hurt the survivors?

“And I am impressed with the pastoral responses of my predecessors.”

Really?  The list has never been disclosed.  There has been a battle with every case that has been brought.

“I am now disclosing a list of all clergy identified”

This statement has already been questioned and will be tested.

He ends with a hope that survivors will come forward and feel like they were heard.  He claims that the intent was to disclose the list for some time and I guess it was a coincidence it was the day after a lawsuit was filed to get the list and was released on a Friday afternoon.

It is a very good first step to finally see their list.   There are more lists that exist in Minnesota and there are many more names to find.

Abuse of children and the continued silence by the offenders needs to be prevented. If you suffered, saw, or suspected such events, it is important to know that there is help out there.