Abuse Victims Want Duluth Diocese To Be Investigated

Posted at: 10/08/2013 4:31 PM
Updated at: 10/08/2013 10:41 PM
By: Laurie Stribling

Two men, who said they were sexually abused by priests, spoke out against the Diocese of Duluth Tuesday. They said the Duluth clergy did not properly handle the recently-revealed abuse case.

"It's inexcusable and irresponsible of the Bishop to say nothing when an abuse allegation is made, say nothing while it's investigated, say nothing when it's made credible and say nothing when the priest is suspended," SNAP Executive Director David Clohessy said.

Clohessy is talking about the case made public Sunday in which a priest, who worked at a dozen churches in the Northland, was accused of abuse a year ago.

"God forbid if Father Kelleher hurt one more child in those 14 months," Clohessy said.

"You can't say you're transparent and credible when you don't come forward like everyone else and call the police," Northern MN Snap Director Vern Wagner said.

The Diocese of Duluth said the victim didn't want to call police. They added a private investigation was carried out with an outside investigator.

Bishop Paul Sirba said when the accusation was made credible last year it was submitted for review at the Vatican. When that took longer than expected, Sirba said they decided to alert the public last weekend.

Wagner said those actions are not enough. Wagner said he was abused by a priest in Proctor.

"They hired their own private investigator, that's not calling police," Wagner said. "As a victim, I've been down this road with this Diocese before. I was hoping they have changed. They haven't changed."

The Diocese of Duluth said again Tuesday they want any victim of abuse to notify police and clergy. The two men with SNAP said victims should just go straight to police.