Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rev. Stephen O'Gara: homily references the recent revelations of the handling of clergy sexual abuse allegations by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A popular St. Paul priest on Sunday accused Archbishop John Nienstedt of arrogance and demanded an explanation for the clergy sexual abuse scandal.

"He needs to stand before us and explain himself," the Rev. Stephen O'Gara, pastor of the Church of the Assumption, said in a Sunday homily. "Only then will we have the respect called to his office. It's about arrogance, and we all fall victim to arrogance in some degree or in some place in our lives. But this is more. This is not some small matter. This is a big deal. It's the first time, I must say, in 69 years that I'm embarrassed to be Catholic."

O'Gara's homily references the recent revelations of the handling of clergy sexual abuse allegations by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. An MPR News investigation has found Nienstedt and other church leaders failed to warn parishioners of a priest's sexual misconduct, did not turn over possible child pornography to police for nine years and gave special payments to offending priests. Many of the revelations come from former church official Jennifer Haselberger, who resigned in April after Nienstedt and others failed to follow the church's sexual abuse policies.

"These are difficult days," O'Gara told parishioners. "They are hurtful and painful, and I think it's time that we come clean."

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

by Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio
October 29, 2013

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