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News Release: Three Diocese of New Ulm Priests Identified as Child Abusers in New Lawsuits

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Media Advisory

April 15, 2016

Three Lawsuits Name Three Diocese of New Ulm Priests as Child Abusers 

Fr. Bernard Steiner, Fr. Richard Gross and Fr. Edward Ardolf publicly identified for the first time

 

(New Ulm, MN) – Three sexual abuse survivors have identified three priests from the Diocese of New Ulm as child abusers. The priests, Fr. Bernard Steiner, Fr. Richard Gross and Fr. Edward Ardolf, are being publicly named for the first time.

Fr. Bernard Steiner: Steiner was ordained in 1964 in the Diocese of New Ulm and worked in several parishes throughout Southern and West-Central Minnesota during his clerical career, including parishes and schools in Springfield, Sanborn, Dawson, Clarkfield, Lafayette, Winthrop, Appleton, Holloway, Comfrey, Madison, Granite Falls, Clara City, Raymond, Benson, Clontarf, Danvers, DeGraff, Lamberton, Green Isle, Faxon Township, Jessenland and Henderson. Steiner retired from active ministry in 2005. Doe 172 was abused at the Church of St. Paul in Comfrey, Minnesota in the 1970s.

Fr. Richard Gross: Gross was ordained in 1962 in the Diocese of New Ulm and worked in parishes in New Ulm, Taunton, Rosen, Hutchinson and Watkins. Gross retired from ministry in 2003. Doe 62 was sexually abused by Gross in the mid-1960s at St. Mary’s parish in New Ulm.

Fr. Edward Ardolf: Ardolf was ordained in 1964 in the Diocese of New Ulm and retired from active ministry in 2012. During his clerical career, Ardolf worked in several parishes and schools in the following locations: Winsted; New Ulm (including Cathedral High School); North Mankato (including Loyola High School); Springfield, Canby, St. Leo, Sleepy Eye, and Nicollet. Doe 294 was sexually abused by Gross at St. Raphael’s in Springfield.

All three lawsuits were brought under the Minnesota Child Victims Act, a law passed in 2013 allowing survivors of child sexual abuse to bring cases against the perpetrators who abused them and any institution who may have covered up the abuse. The deadline to file a legal claim is May 25, 2016.

“We applaud the courage and strength of all three survivors in coming forward and sharing their truths,” said Attorney Jeff Anderson. “Our children and communities are safer because these brave survivors chose to speak out and share their stories.”

 

Contact: Jeff Anderson: Office: 651.227.9990 Cell: 612.817.8665

Contact: Mike Finnegan: Office: 651.227.9990 Cell: 612.205.5531