The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Lawsuit names 11 child molesting clerics
It’s the first fraud case against Benedictines
And man who’s suing for child sex abuse speaks for the first time
He’ll urge others who were hurt by Minnesota church employees to “speak up”
The suit identifies 11 proven, admitted or credibly accused abusive Benedictines who are at St. John’s or have spent time there, including Brother John Kelly, Fr. Finnian McDonald, Fr. Dunston Moorse, Fr. Allen Tarlton, Fr. Richard E. Eckroth, Fr. Brennan Maiers, Abott John Eidenschenk, Fr. Cosmos Dahlheimer, Fr. Francis Hoelgen and Fr. Thomas Gillespie. Their allege crimes spanned almost 25 years – from the early 1960s through the mid-1985. All but one of the 11 are accused of crimes against children.
The victim in this case, Jeramiah (Jerry) McCarthy, reports having been sexually victimized by Fr. Bruce Wollmering around 1971, when he was “required to see Wollmering for academic and psychological testing and individual emotional and spiritual counseling” on school premises during and after school-sponsored activities and events.
In 2004, Wollmering was accused of molesting a different St. John’s student in the 1980s. In 2006, church officials determined that allegations against Wollmering were credible. Until recently, Wollmering lived at the abbey and was listed on the St. John’s website as the abbey’s “gardening coordinator.” He died in February.
Last year, SNAP wrote and complained to the Chicago-based Catholic Press Association which gave an award to Wollmering. Such honors, victims say, discourage other victims from reporting child sex crimes and “rub even more salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of those molested.” They sought a public apology from the group, but got no response. (Wollmering was honored for ‘best essay’ which appeared in The Abbey Banner.)
The president of the Catholic Press Association is Bob Zyskowski, editor of The Catholic Spirit, the weekly newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis (651-291-4444, zyskowskiR@archspm.org) More information about the awards can be found at http://www.catholicpress.org/
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests