Attorneys: Countless Children Put at Risk Under McDonough's Leadership of Church

Updated: 04/24/2014 10:31 PM By: Jennie Olson

The public on Thursday is learning what former Vicar General Kevin McDonough said during his deposition regarding alleged abuse in the Catholic church.

McDonough was the second-in-command at the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis for 17 years and was the one in charge of investigating, researching, and reporting all claims of possible sex abuse in the church for more than a decade. The former Vicar General supervised the Child Sex Abuse Prevention program within the archdiocese until 2008.

He was deposed on April 16 as part of a civil lawsuit going to trial in September; a victim has sued the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, the Diocese of Winona, and former priest Tom Adamson, who allegedly abused the victim in the 1970s. Because McDonough was in charge of knowing about sex abuse cases, he’s crucial to the trial.  

In the deposition, McDonough acknowledges that he chose not to talk with St. Paul police investigators who are looking into allegations of clergy sexual misconduct. He also acknowledges he declined to be interviewed by a panel appointed by the archdiocese to review its policies and practices. He says most of his activity was already documented, so he didn't feel a need to defend his record.

Attorneys with Jeff Anderson & Associates say countless children were put at risk under McDonough's leadership and that McDonough "personally worked with and worked on at least 30 people accused of sexual abuse." They say two of the accused offenders lived with McDonough at some point and claim he is "intimately aware" of abuse.

Attorneys said they have released the 6 1/2 hour deposition to police.

Watch clips of the deposition here.

Former Vicar General's Deposition Released

On Tuesday, the deposition of Archbishop John Nienstedt was released. The video is four hours long, and in it he admits he should have released more information to the public sooner about priests accused of sex abuse.

It was the first time the Archbishop has publicly addressed alleged clergy abuse.

Read the full deposition of Archbishop Nienstedt here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.