Former priests from the area 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.
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.
Local priests on the list:
Jerome Kern, 72, was co-pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) in Minnetonka from 1976-1994. There is one allegation of sexual misconduct involving a minor made against Kern while he was assigned at Immaculate Heart of Mary parish. The case ended in a settlement. Kern was accused in a lawsuit filed Nov. 7 of “sexual battery” of a boy in Edina between 1972 to 1976. IHM released a statement in November about the allegations.
Kern was permanently removed from ministry in 2002. He currently resides in Edina.John Brown was an associate priest in Hopkins between 1951 and 1956. The 93-year-old had a career that lasted from 1948 until 1990. He was permanently removed from the ministry in 2002 and now lives in Maplewood.
Richard Jeub started his career at St. Joseph in Hopkins in 1966 and worked there through 1967. The 73-year-old held several posts before he retired in 2002. He was permanently removed from the ministry that same year and now lives in Crosby.
Joseph Pinkosh was at St. Joseph in Hopkins from 1969 until 1972. The 70-year-old also worked in New Prague, Minneapolis and Shieldsville. He was permanently removed from the ministry in 1992 and now lives in Columbia Heights.
Richard Skluzacek was at St. Joseph in Hopkins between 1978 and 1990. He worked in various positions between 1957 and 1998. He was permanently removed from the ministry in 2005 and died in 2012.
Robert Thurner was at St. John the Evangelist in Hopkins between 1970 and 1983 as part of a career that ran from 1951 until 1991. The 88-year-old was permanently removed from the ministry in 2002 and now lives in Maplewood.
Robert Zasacki was at St. Joseph in Hopkins from 2001 until 2002, when he was permanently removed from the ministry. He started his career in 1967 and entered the archdiocese from the Archdiocese of Newark in 1979. He died in 2008.
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 achdiocese 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.
Jerome Kern's entry in The Catholic Spirit:
Date of birth: 3/20/1941 (Age 72)
Date of ordination: 1966
Cleric’s prior assignments in archdiocese:
- Associate priest, St. Mark, St. Paul, 1967-70;
- Associate priest, Our Lady of Grace, Edina, 1970-1975;
- Administrator, Our Lady of Grace, Edina, 1975-1976;
- Co-pastor, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Minnetonka, 1976-1994;
- Sabbatical, 1994-1995 (in residence at St. Paul Seminary);
- Temporary administrator, St. Dominic, Northfield, 1995;
- Associate priest, St. Peter, Forest Lake, 1995-2002
Diocese or religious order: Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis
Date permanently removed from ministry: 2002
Current location: Edina, Minn.
Current status: Permanently removed from ministry