MN--Pedophile priest case heads to trial

For immediate release: Thursday, Jan. 8

Statement by Frank Meuers of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (952-334-5180, [email protected])

At least one Twin Cities clergy sex abuse and cover up case will go to trial on Jan. 26, attorneys say. (See )   

We are grateful that local Catholics and citizens will learn more about current and former Catholic officials who recklessly and callously put kids in harm’s way. And we hope that anyone with information about the alleged child molesting cleric will speak up at this critical juncture so that justice may be done.

The trial involves Fr. Thomas Stitts. The St. Paul/Minneapolis archdiocese is a defendant. The victim’s attorneys, including Patrick Noaker of Minneapolis, insist that it will NOT settle.

Fewer than 40 of these cases have ever gone to trial. So only a few dozen Catholic officials have ever been forced to answer tough questions under oath in an open court room about their role in hiding clergy sex crimes and quietly moving proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests.

Those questions are key to showing parishioners and the public just how irresponsible Catholic officials are when it comes to children’s safety. We applaud the courageous victim in this case who clearly wants the truth to be known, even though the trial will no doubt be brutal for him.

We beg Archbishop John Nienstedt to forbid his lawyers from mean-spirited and unnecessary attacks on this victim. (Catholic officials essentially admitted Fr. Stitts faced several credible accusers when they permanently ousted him from ministry.)

Again, we beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Fr. Stitts or cover ups by Catholic officials to come forward now. It’s crucial that the full truth about this scandal be revealed so that the vulnerable will be protected, the guilty will be exposed, more cover ups be prevented and the wounded be healed.

Fr. Stitts’ photo and work history are at

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have 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

Contact - David Clohessy, 314-566-9790, [email protected], Barbara Dorris 314-503-0003, [email protected], Barbara Blaine 312-399-4747, [email protected] Verne Wagner, 218-525-1694, [email protected]   

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