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St. Michael Native, Former Pastor Among Priests 'Credibly Accused'

Two local men and a third who spent more than a decade in nearby Buffalo are named in the Catholic Spirit announcement.

A St. Michael native and a former pastor of the St. Michael Catholic Church are two of the men who are "credibly accused" of inappropriate conduct according to the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis. 

The archdiocese released a list of names today, including former St. Michael Catholic Church pastor Fr. Lee Krautkremer, who served from 1968 to 1970 as an associate priest in the Historic Church, and was pastor here from 1984 to 1987. 

Krautkremer, 73, was removed from the priesthood in 2002, and laicized by the Catholic Church in 2006. He now resides in Minneapolis, according to the Catholic Free Spirit.

The archdiocese published a 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.

Also included on the list is Fr. Cosmas Dahlheimer, now deceased. Fr. Dahlheimer was born in St. Michael in 1904, and died in 2004 in St. Cloud. He spent many of his years in the priesthood at the St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, where he stayed for more than three decades. He also served as an associate priest in St. Paul. 

The third local ties is Fr. Francis Reynolds, a former pastor of St. Francis Xavier church in Buffalo, who was removed from the priesthood in 1987, two years removed from a 17-year stint. Reynolds also interacted with students at the Catholic elementary school in Buffalo during his tenure.

The publication of the list 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 investigation.

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.

Those in a local survivors group, however, are skeptical the church will go any further with the investigation. Megan Peterson, Twin Cities SNAP leader, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, released a statement. 

"This disclosure is incomplete. And it’s now up to current and former Catholic church employees and members to step up. We suspect dozens of priests, secretaries and parish staff know more about these predators–and others–that should be disclosed publicly and reported to law enforcement. Now’s the time for every person who knows anything about clergy sex offenders and enablers to come clean–for the safety of kids and for the sake of their own consciences."

 



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