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St. Cloud Diocese to Have Another Listening Session

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The St Cloud Times reported today that there had been a press release from the St. Cloud Diocese that :

Bishop Donald Kettler of the Diocese of St. Cloud will have a series of listening sessions in August following allegations of sexual abuse committed by three priests of the diocese.

The Press Release went on to say:

The listening sessions, which were in the process of being scheduled when this edition of The Visitor went to press, will be held at parishes in areas of the diocese where the three men served. The gatherings are an opportunity for the bishop to acknowledge the accusations, listen and answer questions, and encourage any other abuse victims/survivors to come forward.

The abusers at issue are Father Robert Smith, Father William Wey and Father James Thoennes.  Which means the Parrish’s should be:

Robert Smith: Holy Angels, St. Cloud; Holy Family, Belle Prairie; Our Lady of Victory, Fergus Falls; St. Leonard’s, Pelican Rapids; St. Paul’s, Sauk Centre; Chaplain, Poor Clare Sisters, Sauk Rapids; Holy Cross, North Prairie; St. Stanislaus, Sobieski.

James Thoennes: St. Anthony’s, St. Cloud; St. Mary’s, Melrose; St. Joseph, Waite Park; St. John’s, Foley; St. Anne’s, Kimball; Sacred Heart, Dent; St. Leonard’s, Pelican Rapids; St. Joseph, Bertha; St. Edward’s. Henning; Chaplain, St. Mary’s Villa, Pierz. Currently residing in St. Cloud, MN

William Wey: St. Mary’s Cathedral, St. Cloud; St. Donatus, Brooten; Immaculate Conception, Sedan; St. Gall, Tintah; Sacred Heart, Dent; St. Peter, Dumont; St. Patrick, Collis.

The last time the Dioceses had a listening session the reports weren’t the best:

In fact, Roxann Storms, who was moderating the session, publicly apologized to all present, for the failed format of the session. She explained that she (not Bishop John Kinney, as described in the Our View) had created the format after consulting with experts in the field, as well as victims.

It’s interesting that  St. Cloud bishop, Donald Joseph Kettler, a College of St. John graduate,  is trained in Canon Law.  He was bishop of the Fairbanks Diocese when it declared bankruptcy and then had their own set of listening session. He got a ‘Frontline’ PBS special out of those,  as the Diocese used the bankruptcy to  pay about $9.8 million to over 300 survivors. 

It will be interesting to see how these go and if they are done at every Parish.

see also:

The Diocese of St Cloud Release Their List of 33 Priests Accused of Sexually Abusing Minors (update), Mike Bryant |

Archbishop Quitting Affects St. Cloud and St. John’s Priest Sex abuse cases, Joe Crumley |

A Look At Bishop Donald J. Kettler’s Statement, Mike Bryant |

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.