Deceased SD bishop accused of abuse; Church officials must do more
A now-deceased Rapid City bishop has been accused of molesting a Minnesota child, Catholic officials recently acknowledged.
St. Cloud MN Bishop Donald Kettler said that Bishop Harold Dimmerling has been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor while a priest in the Diocese of Saint Cloud. The allegation has been reported to law enforcement.
SNAP hopes others who may have been hurt by this deceased prelate will come forward to independent sources of healing, such as therapists, loved ones, and support groups like ours.
Bishop Kettler has said that he will hold listening sessions in the near future in areas of the diocese where Bishop Dimmerling worked. We also encourage current Rapid City Bishop Robert Gruss to aggressively reach out to those who may be suffering in silence, shame and self-blame. He and his staff should use parish bulletins, pulpit announcements, church websites and other resources to seek out and help anyone who might have been hurt by the accused hierarch. Bishop Gruss should also closely reexamine all the abuse allegations handled by his predessor.
Bishop Dimmerling was ordained in 1940 in the Diocese of Altoona, Pennsylvania but started working in Saint Cloud that same year.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.