Monday Hearing Will Focus on List of Accused Minn. Priests

Updated: 12/02/2013 9:18 AM By: Todd Wilson

The names of Twin Cities priests accused of sexual abuse could be released Monday if a Ramsey County judge decides to make the list public.

Archbishop John Nienstedt said he would disclose the names, locations and status of these men in November with "permission of the relevant court."
The archdiocese said a protective order has been in place in Ramsey County District Court since 2009 related to the disclosure.
On Friday, the archdiocese said it just learned that a meeting with a Ramsey County judge has now been scheduled for Dec. 2. The archdiocese said the need for court approval will delay its schedule for disclosure. But the archdiocese said it is prepared to release information once the judge approves the plan.

The names will be limited to those priests who live in the archdiocese and who have claims of abuse against them. It's unknown how many names will be released.

A KSTP crew stopped by 5 p.m. mass at the Cathedral in St. Paul. Most parishioners didn't want to talk about the archdiocese going to court, but a few did. "I think they (the names) should be released. Because the truth needs to be known," said parishioner Julie Quesada.

"I guess I do if they're guilty. If they're accused then I would say, no," said parishioner Roger Lingofelt.

There are so many paths the judge could take. KSTP spoke with Dr. Charles Reid, a professor at the University of St. Thomas to get his take on this. He's an expert on papal issues and Catholicism.

"It's crucial to comply with the court order if the court orders the release of it. It's crucial to release the list if they are given the discretion to do so," said Reid.

Reid says if the archbishop doesn't release the list, he believes there will be enormous backlash. "There's too much at stake publicly. He has staked his reputation on the release of this information," he said.

Reid says releasing the names will also lead the archdiocese to clarity.

"It advances the bid for transparency. The church needs to be transparent on this issue, they promised," he said.

The Associated Press contributed this report.