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Priest Diagnosed with Sexuality Disorder in 1989 Continued in Ministry until 2013

Updated: 08/12/2014 7:19 AM
Created: 08/11/2014 4:24 PM KSTP.com
By: Megan Matthews

A file publicly released Monday accuses the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis of ignoring the fact that a priest, Father Kenneth LaVan, was accused of inappropriate behavior multiple times. He continued in ministry until 2013.

The files released by Jeff Anderson and Associates say LaVan was first accused of inappropriate sexual behavior in the 1980s. He was sent for treatment twice and was diagnosed with compulsive sexuality disorder in 1989.

According to Anderson, LaVan’s history was reviewed in 1995, and despite the allegations and a lawsuit, the Clergy Review Board recommended LaVan continue in ministry. It wasn’t until December 2013, when Kinsale Management reviewed LaVan’s files, that he was removed from ministry. LaVan's name was not part of the original list of credibly accused priests released by the Archdiocese last December; however, LaVan's name was later added.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis released a statement Monday saying it made public that there were “substantiated claims of sexual abuse of a minor against Kenneth LaVan” in February 2014. A month later it released a statement saying LaVan was removed from ministry in 1989 to undergo treatment. He was only allowed to return to parish ministry at St. Joseph in Lino Lakes with monitoring after he finished treatment.

The Archdiocese says “under today’s standards and protocols, if we were to receive similar allegations regarding a priest, police would immediately be notified.” The church goes on to say a priest who has sexually abused a child may still receive treatment but “would not be considered again for ministry, no matter what progress he might make in treatment.”

Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens ends the statement with, “I apologize for the harm caused by some of our priests and ask for forgiveness from sexual abuse victim/survivors, their families and their friends.”


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