Three former Edina clergymen are on a list of priests “credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors in the archdiocese (of St. Paul and Minneapolis),” according to the archdiocese’s newspaper.
- Jerome C. Kern, 72, was at Our Lady of Grace in Edina from 1970 to 1976, first as an associate priest and then as an administrator. He was transferred to Our Lady of Grace after accusations of sexual abuse arose at his church in St. Paul.
A lawsuit filed Nov. 7 accuses him of “sexual battery” of a boy in Edina between 1972 to 1976. Attorneys filing the lawsuit say he abused at least nine other people.
Kern was removed from the ministry in 2002 and now lives in Edina.
- Thomas Stitts was at Our Lady of Grace from 1965 to 1966. After Edina, he worked at five different churches until he died from cancer at the age of 50 in 1985.
A lawsuit was filed in June by a man who claimed Stitts molested him in the early 1970s when he was at St. Leo’s in St. Paul. According to the lawsuit, Stitts was sexually inappropriate with boys throughout his career and was repeatedly shuffled from parish to parish in a deliberate attempt to conceal his actions.
- Richard Jeub, 73, was at Our Lady of Grace from 1967 to 1970 and later served as chaplain at Fairview Southdale Hospital from 1978 to 1982.
Jeub won a lawsuit in the early 2000s against a woman who accused him of sexually abusing her while she was an adolescent at Our Lady of Grace. The woman reportedly turned down a $125,000 settlement offer.
He was removed from the ministry in 2002 and currently lives in Crosby, Minn.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis published the list of 34 priests Thursday in the online edition of The Catholic Spirit, the newspaper that serves the archdiocese.
About half of the parishes in the archdiocese—92 out of 188 parishes—had one of the priests on the list there at some point, according to the archdiocese.
The publication was made in response to ongoing lawsuits against priests and the church arising from childhood sexual abuse cases. The archdiocese and Diocese of Winona originally sought to seal the list—which was created in 2004 and included 33 of the 34 priests named today, according to the Star Tribune.
The courts agreed to seal the list in 2009. But Archbishop John Nienstedt reversed course after the church was accused of shielding priests—allegations that gained extra fuel in recent months from a Minnesota Public Radio exposé.
The information being released comes mostly from reported incidents that occurred between the mid-1950s and 1980s, according to The Catholic Spirit.
“All have been permanently removed from ministry or are deceased,” the article said.
The church says it is engaged in a comprehensive review of clergy files and will update the list as it makes additional announcements.