Winona Bishop Quinn Addresses Priest Abuse

Posted at: 12/03/2013 6:54 PM
Updated at: 12/03/2013 6:57 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 News) -- A Ramsey County judge ruled Monday that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis as well as the Diocese of Winona must release the names of priests accused of sexual assault.

This after a law suit where the victim demanded that the names be released for the public’s safety.

Back in August Bill Beardmore stood before us and told us of the sexual abuse he says he suffered at the hands of his own priest more than 50 years ago.

"I felt like I was the person that had done something bad, I was just a little kid, I was an altar boy," said Beardmore.

Beardmore is just one of the victims that attorney Jeff Anderson has represented that has asked that the names of the priests that have been credibly accused be released.

"They could be at day care centers, they could be your neighbor, they could be in schools, and they could be accessible to kids," said Anderson.

Anderson says the ruling Monday, that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona must release the list of priests names and the places they have worked, was a ruling they've been waiting for years to hear.

"It’s a great sense of relief, because we have been terribly alarmed," said Anderson.

Bishop John Quinn of the Diocese of Winona says they will work to make sure that all of the information requested is released.

"It was not a cover up, over the years the catholic church has learned much from mistakes, certainly the way we did things 15-20 years ago is not the way we do things now," said Bishop Quinn.

He says the names were not originally released, because of concern over the study that compiled the list.

"If there are those that have been harmed, as the bishop I of course want them to be treated justly, and we care about victims and we care about those that have been harmed and we of course want to reach out to them and offer the healing of Jesus Christ," said Quinn.

Anderson says the release of the priests names will not only ensure that further abuse does not occur, but that it may encourage more victims to come forward.

"Until the truth is finally here there can't be any safety and recovery, and I think this brings an element of both," said Anderson.

While nothing can erase the memories for the victims like Beardmore, this is what many of them have been hoping for.

"There just should be some accountability," said Beardmore.

If the dioceses does not release the names on the list, the judge ruled that they must file a detailed explanations for each arguing why they should be kept private. 

The Archdiocese St. Paul and Minneapolis will release names Wednesday. Winona has until January 17th.