Friday, February 21, 2014

Arch. Minn St. Paul corrects MPR reporting

Consistent with the paramount goal of protecting children, the archdiocese has committed to the public disclosure of clergy members against whom claims of sexual abuse of a minor have been found to be substantiated.

The archdiocese has been clear and consistent in defining “credible” and “substantiated” claims of sexual abuse of a minor. Following the report made to appropriate law enforcement, the first step in our internal evaluation is to determine whether the claim is credible. A credible claim is one that is not manifestly false or frivolous. In other words, it is not blatantly false. Separate from our internal evaluation process, any claim whether credible or not, is immediately reported to police.

If the archdiocese determines that a credible claim exists, the archdiocese opens an investigation to determine whether a claim is substantiated. A substantiated claim is one for which sufficient evidence exists to establish reasonable grounds to believe that the alleged abuse occurred.

Following an initial disclosure of 30 clergy members in December 2013, the archdiocese publicly disclosed an additional 9 priests on February 17, 2014, following a comprehensive file review by Kinsale, an experienced outside national firm. Kinsale’s file review is ongoing and we will continue to make prudent and ongoing disclosures as we proceed forward.

In a February 19, 2014 on-line article, MPR states that the public disclosures made by the archdiocese are, to date, incomplete. In support of its position, MPR identifies a total of 28 clergy members who have not been publicly disclosed by the archdiocese and against whom MPR claims that it has “found allegations of child sexual abuse and other sexual improprieties.”

This statement is wrong and misleading. The 28 clergy members identified by MPR have not been publicly disclosed by the archdiocese because they do not, to date, constitute substantiated claims of sexual abuse of a minor.
continue at Arch. Minn & St. Paul

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