MN--Secret records about abusive Duluth cleric are released
For immediate release: Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016
More than 900 pages of long-secret records about a child molesting cleric who worked in Duluth have been released and are now on-line, because abuse victims insisted on the disclosure as part of a legal settlement. Duluth Catholic officials should tell parents, parishioners and the public about him and his crimes. Duluth parents and parishioners should read up about him and tell others about him. If he hurt even one child during his six years in northern Minnesota, we want that suffering person to know that he or she is not alone.
He’s Father Brennan Maiers. (His photo is at BishopAccountability.org) In the 1990s, he worked as a chaplain at three places in Duluth: St. Scholastica Monastery, St. Mary’s Medical Center and the Duluth Federal prison camp. He now lives at Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville.
In 1984, Fr. Maiers was arrested for soliciting an undercover officer at adult movie theater. In 1988, Fr. Maiers was first sued for abusing a nine year old in 1966. That suit settled out of court in 1992.
He also admitted to sexual relationships with a woman and two men in New York in 1970s. In 2002, he was permanently removed from ministry 2002. Fr. Maiers’ name appeared on lists of credibly accused child molesting clerics in two dioceses: St. Cloud diocese (in 2014) and St. Paul (in 2013).
The newly-disclosed records about Fr. Maiers are available at AndersonAdvocates.com and here: http://mntransparencyinitiative.com/
Duluth Bishop Paul Sirba should personally visit the parishes near where Fr. Maiers lived or worked (even temporarily), begging victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to come forward. He should also use parish bulletins, church websites and pulpit announcements across the entire diocese to seek out others who may have been assaulted and are still suffering. He should permanently post on his diocesan website- and parish websites - the names, photos and whereabouts of every child molesting Minnesota area cleric, whether alive or dead, diocesan or religious order, or admitted, proven or credibly accused.
We hope that every single person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in Duluth will summon the strength to speak up. Kids are safer only when victims, witnesses and whistleblowers are courageous enough to act. Silence is tempting but it only helps wrongdoers.
It’s important that people with suspicions or knowledge of these crimes and cover ups call the independent professionals in law enforcement, not the biased amateurs in church positions.
NOTE – The attorneys involved in the records release are Jeff Anderson (651 227 9990 office, 612 817 8665 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org) and Mike Finnegan (651 227 9990 office, 612 205 5531 cell, email@example.com). The Minnesota church spokesman who’s responsible for information about Fr. Maiers is Brother Aelred Senna (320 363 2004, firstname.lastname@example.org, 320 363 2085 phone, 320 363 3039 (email@example.com).
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Frank Meuers of Plymouth MN, SNAP director Southern Minnesota (952-334-5180, email@example.com), Verne Wagner of Duluth, SNAP director Northern Minnesota (218-340-1277, firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.