Father Harry Walsh retired two years ago. He's now teaching sex education to at risk minors. Noboday at his new job knows that the Catholic church paid out a settlement to an alleged sexual abuse victim and actively sought his removal from the clergy. He was also left off the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis list of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse
Walsh told MPR News on Wednesday that he never sexually abused children. "I'd have been shocked if I was on the list because there's nothing credible about it," he said. "If I were hiding that, you wouldn't be in my house right now; I would have been very careful."
Walsh said he left the priesthood voluntarily because he has a heart condition. "I gave almost 50 years of service," he said. "I felt that was a generous offering."
If Walsh did not abuse a child, then why did the church pay out a settlement on his behalf and seek his removal from the priesthood?
Nienstedt told the Vatican: "Father Walsh's scandalous living arrangements and his endorsement of 'optional celibacy' for clergy have continued unchecked for too long. Furthermore, the allegations regarding possible sexual abuse of minors necessitate that Father Walsh no longer hold a place of prestige and authority in any parish in the Archdiocese."
Nienstedt... that would be Archbishop John Nienstedt. He needs to find another job or go to prison with the other child-molesting priests because he's been accused too. In fact, the whole Archdiocese needs a do over.
Seven of the priests named were not previously known to the public as accused abusers. Five of those seven are still living. About one-third of the priests on the list are dead.
The accused priests have served at nearly half — 92, in total — of the 188 parishes in the archdiocese, according to an email sent to priests by vicar general Rev. Charles Lachowitzer, the archbishop's top deputy.
If you are a Catholic in Minnesota, it might be time to change churches.