Credibly accused abusers still being hidden by St. Paul’s archbishop

These clerics were in the Twin Cities archdiocese. (Two may be here now; their whereabouts are unknown.)

Each of them

--has been publicly deemed a ‘credibly accused’ abuser by other Catholic officials,

--are on ‘credibly accused’ abusers lists on other official church websites.

But Twin Cities Archbishop Bernard Hebda refuses to admit their wrongdoing or put their names on his online ‘credibly accused’ abusers list.

(All of the information below comes from one or more of the following sources: court records, church documents and/or mainstream media accounts.)


1-- Fr. William Tanguay, ‘outed’ 2019 in Rhode Island 

In 2019, the Providence Rhode Island bishop deemed him ‘credibly accused’ of child sexual abuse and put his name on the official diocesan ‘credibly accused’ abusers list, available on the diocesan website. Fr. Tanguay reportedly offended there between 1965 and 1981 and was assigned to several parishes.

In the 1980s, he worked in Minneapolis, ‘helping’ Hmong refugees.

In June 2002, the Providence bishop removed Fr. Tanguay from ministry.

2-- Fr. Elwood “Woody” Bernas, ‘outed’ in 2018 in Ohio 

That year, the bishop of Steubenville deemed him ‘credibly accused’ of sexually abusing a child and posted his name on the diocesan ‘credibly accused’ abusers list which is available on line.

Fr. Bernas was reportedly suspended in 1986, left the ministry in 1989, became a therapist and claims he got sex addiction treatment.

He became a substitute organist at the Catholic Cathedral of St. Paul and at a local Lutheran church. He also worked at the Hazelton Center for chemically dependent men.

In 2009, Bernas moved to Washington state, became an organist at a Presbyterian church and worked at a treatment center outside of Seattle for teens struggling with substance abuse. In 2019, he fired after the center was informed of his past.


3-- Fr. James William Murphy, ‘outed’ in 2018 & 2020 in Tennessee on two church websites

In 2018, the bishop of Nashville deemed him ‘credibly accused’ of abuse and put his name on the official diocesan ‘credibly accused’ list. In 2020, the bishop of Knoxville did the same. Fr. Murphy is also on the Memphis diocesan list.

Fr. Murphy sexually abused boys along with three Iowa priests (Frs. Janssen, Geerts, and Bass, all of whom are also ‘credibly accused’) during out of state trips. He also reportedly molested boys in the Nashville area.

In the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese, he worked at a retreat center.

4-- Fr. Casimir Plakut, ‘outed’  in 2017 on two Catholic church websites

The head of St. John's Abbey in Collegeville MN deemed him ‘likely to have offended against minors’ and put his name on the Abbey’s website in 2017. Crookston’s bishop did the same, also in 2017.

Fr. Plakut was ordained for the Benedictine religious order and worked in the dioceses of St. Cloud, Crookston, Duluth and St. Paul and Minneapolis. (He sometimes went by the name Fr. Francis J. Michael.)

Fr. Plakut also worked as an Army chaplain, at Harvard University, in Kentucky, Nebraska, Michigan, Texas, South Dakota, Ontario Canada and in the Bahamas.

In Minnesota, he was assigned to or lived in these towns: Collegeville, Swan River, Little Falls, Moorhead, Duluth, Detroit Lakes, Mahnomen, Wayzata, Cold Spring, Naytahwash, Beaulieu and Cloquet.

5-- Fr. Dennis M. Lally, ‘outed’ in 2021 in Minnesota

The bishop of Green Bay publicly named him as a ‘credibly accused’ abuser in 2021 and posted his name on the ‘credibly accused’ list on the official diocesan website.

Fr. Lally was ordained in 1965 for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and worked here until 1982. 

6--Fr. Alphonsus P. Ferguson, ‘outed’ in 2022 by his religious order

In 2022, having allegedly molested at least two kids, the Nebraska-based Columban religious order (to which he belonged) publicly deemed him ‘credibly accused’ and put his name on their official ‘credibly accused’ abusers list which is online.

In 2014, Fr. Ferguson was sued for reportedly anally raping an altar boy at Guardian Angels Church in Hastings in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Archdiocese.

He also spent time in Missouri, Ireland and China and worked in New York, Iowa and Nebraska.

Fr. Ferguson was also a member of the Franciscan Servants of the Sacred Heart, also based in Nebraska.

(For more information: David Clohessy, SNAP, 314 566 9790, [email protected])


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