Archdiocese Given More Time to Produce Files on Accused Priests

Updated: 03/28/2014 7:38 AM
Created: 03/27/2014 5:19 PM
By: Josh Rosenthal

On Thursday a judge gave the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis more time to turn over some church files related to priests accused of sexual abuse. All of the files were supposed to be turned over by March 31, ahead of two very important depositions.

The deposition of Archbishop John Nienstedt is scheduled for April 2. The deposition of former Vicar General Kevin McDonough is set for April 16.

The judge is allowing some leeway with the files because even though the Church has had months to produce them, there are expected to be more than 60,000 documents. Some date back to the 1970's, and they include handwritten notes. Also, the judge expects that all files related to abuse that occurred under Neidstedt's watch will be turned over by that original March 31 deadline.

"Until the past is known, the future is uncertain as to the safety of our children," said attorney Jeff Anderson, who represents the alleged clergy abuse victim. "So it really becomes I think a public policy imperative to get this out."

Anderson says he plans to make as much of the depositions public as he can, as soon as he can. He expects a court order to limit what he can release.

The church issued a statement on Thursday's hearing, saying in part, church leaders are pleased with the outcome and "our goals remain the protection of children, the healing of victims, and the restoration of trust of the faithful and our clergy who are serving our communities nobly and with honor."

The depositions are in response to a lawsuit brought by an unidentified plaintiff who claims he is a clergy abuse victim.

The judge set a trial date for September 22 .

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