List of clergy accused of abuse includes one-time Guardian Angels associate priest
The identities of 33 Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing minors – including one who was briefly involved with a Woodbury-area church – were released Thursday, prompting a promise of more openness in disclosure from the leader of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Among the priests accused of sexually abusing minors is Timothy McCarthy, a 67-year-old who was removed from the ministry in 1991. According to the list issued Thursday, McCarthy spent part of 1984 as an associate priest at Guardian Angels Catholic Church in Oakdale – what was formerly Lake Elmo, prior to annexation.
Denny Farrell, church administrator at Guardian Angels, said he and current priest Rodger Bauman were notified Wednesday that a former pastor from the church would be on the list. After learning McCarthy’s name on Thursday, Farrell said he went in search of information about the priest since he was at Guardian Angels less than a year.
“We didn’t know much about him,” Farrell said, adding that a cursory check with older parishioners turned up no answers. “That’s how interim he was.”
McCarthy served a few months in between two permanent Guardian Angels priests, Farrell said.
Farrell said he has placed an inquiry with the archdiocese in hopes of learning more information about McCarthy and his time at Guardian Angels.
It was not clear Thursday what, if any, allegations against McCarthy may have included his stay at Guardian Angels.
McCarthy came to Guardian Angels after serving special assignment and as associate priest from 1982 to 1984 at St. Peter Claver in St. Paul. After leaving Guardian Angels, McCarthy went on to St. Joseph's in Lino Lakes, where he also served as associate priest before serving out his final five years as pastor at Holy Redeemer in Maplewood.
Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt said that in the future, any time a sexual abuse claim against a priest is found to be credible and can be substantiated, the archdiocese's new disclosure practices will require that claim to be posted on the website (www.archspm.org). The names of 29 "credibly" accused priests, plus four others that have faced claims that remain unsubstantiated, have all been posted online. Nienstedt says the goal of the disclosures is to not only, "Protect the young and vulnerable and care for victims of abuse," but also to restore trust of the congregation, the community, and the clergy who are serving honorably.
Farrell said the sexual abuse controversy has been “a strain on all Catholics.”
“We’re ready for the healing part,” he said. “This was a big piece we needed to be done with. We’re very happy we’ve taken a giant step toward the healing process.”