Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Twin Cities woman sues Fr. Michael Keating from St. Thomas Univ., alleges improper contact and gifts

A Catholic priest and University of St. Thomas professor has been accused of sexual contact with a 13-year-old Twin Cities girl more than a decade ago, and of then giving her his car when she confronted him about the incidents eight years later.

The Rev. Michael J. Keating, 57, has taken a leave of absence from St. Thomas and did not respond to requests for comment on the allegations, which are contained in a lawsuit filed Monday in Ramsey County District Court. A university spokesman said Keating “no longer is on campus.”

St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson, who filed the suit, said that his client and her family took her accusations to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis seven years ago but that they were rebuffed by an internal review panel. Anderson said the case, the latest of several explosive allegations to surface in the archdiocese, is another example of church officials in St. Paul protecting the church’s reputation at the expense of victims and the faithful.

The archdiocese did not comment. “We’re not going to be responding to her claims,” spokesman Jim Accurso said.  [I hope he means to continue "at this time"]

The woman suing Keating is now 28, married and living in the Twin Cities. She is named in the lawsuit as “Doe 20” and asked during an interview with the Star Tribune that her name not be published to spare her from more trauma.

The woman, who describes herself as a devout Catholic, said she was hospitalized twice and suffered long periods of self-loathing and depression because the alleged abuse ruined her early teenage years.
...
The Chisago County Sheriff’s Department also investigated the girl’s allegations in 2006. In both instances, members of the girl’s family brought the complaints forward, saying she had suffered severe depression that included suicidal thoughts and a 10-day mental health stay at a Minneapolis hospital. No criminal charges were filed.  [buried at the end of the article of course]
continue at Strib

Okay, so I get a kick out of how Anderson likes to orchestrate these to all come out at the same time.  Mind you, I'm not saying the allegations are not true, but he's always looking for public support to remove limitations on how much money he can sue dioceses or Catholic entities for.  I wonder at what point they approached St. Thomas University?

Fr. Keating has written for Crisis Magazine so I assume not a liberal(too often we try to blame ideologies, but the truth is anyone is capable of crime).

Innocent until proven guilty, unless you are a priest.  

Here is Fr. Keating singing "Sooner or Later"...... perhaps a bit ironic.


Also recommended reading: Out For Blood: MPR and the Archdiocese

20 comments:

  1. Not a liberal is correct. Good and holy priest. Jeff Anderson strikes again. Fr. Keating will win this and no one will know because the damage has been done. Anderson claims evidence, which is odd, because if he has credible evidence, Keating would have been arrested, tried and sent away in 2006. This is about a payday. If it was about actual abuse, the law would have handled it.

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    1. It certainly seems that way - Anderson worked with the media in Milwaukee the same way, it was sensational enough to sell so they'd just run with it whenever he wanted them to.

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    2. Thought the same thing. If there was any credible evidence, Fr. Keating would have been arrested. That fact lends huge credibility to Archdiocese's internal revue panel decision.

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  2. He is such a fine priest - I can't believe any of this. It breaks my heart - I can't even write about it. Pray for Father and the Archdiocese.

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    1. It seems Mr. Jeff Anderson has set his wheels in motion.

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  3. I know for a fact Fr. Keating is innocent. Knowing his faith in the Lord he will triumph over this burden. It is too bad the public is hearing this womans side of the story first.

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  4. I know Father Keating personally and I know that these claims are not only false, but wildly twisted and exaggerated by the media. They have twisted many of his actions to appear shady and guilty, but he is so innocent. Just another attempt by society to subvert the Catholic Church. I will never doubt this man for a single minute.

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    1. It's people like you blindly defending someone you assume is a good person who give Catholics a bad name. Why the heck would a Catholic priest who is "innocent" give a young a woman a car after she confronted him about inappropriate behavior?! Look at the facts! If you know anything about predatory behavior, child molesters are almost always family friends, and use "gifting" as a means to keep their victims confused and more importantly, quiet. As a former St.Thomas student, I am disgusted that he was hired as a professor, there is no way UST didn't know about the investigation by the archdiocese and their recommendation that he not work with young adults!

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    2. How terribly humorous it is that you claim 'people like me' are the ones giving Catholics a bad name! It appears your alma mater failed to teach you how to think for yourself, because you are sorely mistaken on several points. I fail to see how I am at fault for putting more stock in the Church than thoughtlessly inhaling the twisted stories that the media feeds. You seem to have swallowed each story whole! What makes these stories credible? Remember, my friend, the media gets all of their accounts from the alleged "victim" and her counsel. Of course, it means nothing to me what you're weak, misinformed opinion is, and it's certainly meaningless when placed beside the Truth, but I HIGHLY recommend educating yourself further before you try to make judgments. I hate to claim any sort of superior knowledge, but I've gotten information from several sources beyond what the public is being fed and I am fully aware of both sides of the story. Perhaps, in the time where you would be penning angry, ill-conceived comments, you might enroll yourself in a critical thinking course.

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    3. Oh anonymous by the way, that car he "gave" to them he actually loaned it. They totaled the car and it was worth nothing so he gave it to them. So next time you think your right just because you read the news you should probably keep your mouth shut.

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    4. You are at fault because you are putting your stock not in the Church as you claim, but rather in a man you happen to think is innocent. And I beg your pardon, but who are you to say that I'm "thoughtlessly inhaling the twisted stories that the media feeds"? You have absolutely no way of knowing where I've gotten all of my information from, and let me tell you, it's certainly not only from articles like this one. I also don't appreciate you making uniformed claims and trying to belittle my comments by calling them ill-conceived, angry, and mistaken on several points, when in fact, you fail to point out that anything I said that was false. If you've read anything about what other women that have know him said, he cannot draw the line between appropriate and inappropriate relationships and contact. And what about his payment of one of the victim's student loans? You can't begin to argue that that is not "gifting" behavior. That Catholic Church looks like a twisted cult when it's followers blindly believe in the 100% goodness of it's leaders and members. There have been countless instances surfacing about priests involved in inappropriate and abusive behavior that the Church authorities have tried to cover to save face. I am a practicing Catholic; I strongly believe in all of the Catholic Churches dogma and teachings, but that does not mean that her people aren't infallible! The archdiocese has not handled these cases properly, and now, they are taking the heat for it. This is precisely why people turn away from the Church; they don't trust it's leaders, and they see the example of Catholics running to the defense of people like Keating on claims that "he is so innocent" just because they happen to know him. Father Keating may appear to be a humble, God-loving man, but that in no way discredits anything he has done in the past. I am very curious to see the results of this case and what he has to say for himself.

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    5. I would never claim that the people who work in the Church are infallible! This has been proven multiple times over many years, but it is silly to discredit the actions of this man because of whatever slant you happen to have heard. I'm fortunate enough to have been in a position where I was well aware of the situation when it first happened in 2006 and am familiar with both parties. Clearly you aren't willing to have your mind changed and though you seem well intending, I think that you're misled. I would rather put stock in the Church and her ministers than immediately jumping to the opposite. Nonetheless, you have no idea with what spirit I believe in the Catholic Church and, quite frankly, I'm not attacking your character, simply your points. Maybe you're a good person, but in my opinion, you're wrong. I'll tell you the faults I found with your arguments. Interestingly, they seem almost quoted from the articles. I've kept up very well with what the media has been saying, you see. He actually cosigned on the loans with her parents when they were having financial difficulties. He's obviously been paid well for that! I'm not defending Keating because of the man I know him to be. It may be shocking to you, but there are other people who can think for themselves. You are not among the privileged few.

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  5. Well. Anonymous, I know the victim personally and I know that these claims are true. How about that?

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    1. I can't imagine how painful this must be for you, but perhaps you should keep an open mind about the situation, because it's easy to be misled especially with the way the media is running with this.

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    2. Anonymous from above here...
      Absolutely agree. Just trying to shed light on those who knew Fr. Keating and know for a fact that he is innocent. I know him as well, was a Catholic Studies major and took a class from him, as well as attending Mass numerous times. As noted above, I also know the woman suing him and understand how the media runs with these things. I believe she does too. From what I gather, her intent with all this is not what it seems... not chasing the dollar to be sure... she is and remains a faithful Catholic. I also understand that what may have happened and what can be proven in a court of law are two very different things. If things really happened the way she has conveyed they did, Jeff Anderson (regardless of his intentions and motives and his feelings about the church) gives her the best chance to win her case. I will continue to pray for truth and for healing for all involved.

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  6. Believe me, as much as I wish this story weren't true, I think I know who the victim was and that she would never lie about something like this. So, so, so heartbreaking. He was my favorite priest for many years, and this disgusts me. It's a terrible blow to even begin to lose faith in someone who made a difference in so many people's lives. I will keep praying for Fr. Keating, as I have been doing, though!

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  7. It's foolish to claim Fr. Keating's innocence when really, you have no idea. Whether or not he has changed his ways and acts as holy man now in no way means he didn't do what he is accused of. I too know the victim, and am so saddened at everyone's jump to the defense of Keating. The archdiocese should have removed him from ministry when this was originally brought to their attention in 2006, rather than trying to save face by keeping it covered up and furthermore breaking the trust of the victim and hurting her even more deeply. Fr. Keating is guilty; he is wolf in sheep's clothing.

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  8. This conversation is foolish. No one here can even start saying who is right and who is wrong. With one side of the story out it is easy to say that the victim is right, even if you know them. It is hard to defend anyone is a situation such as this because ends are from extreme catholic background. I think it is best to pray and keep the gossiping to a minimum because, in this case, I think God only knows the truth.

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  9. Fr. Laird is either a coward or really, really dumb for resigning when he did. Even if he did nothing wrong he looks like he did and if he's truly innocent he should have realized how the timing would be perceived and should have stuck around to defend himself and his bishop.

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  10. It's immaterial to the truth what anyone thinks. Have your opinion, but be prepared for the truth.

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