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The List associated with Abusers within St. John’s Abbey is unfortunately growing. During the course of 2017, St, John’s Abbey in Collegeville Minnesota settled 17 lawsuits with sex abuse survivors against monks who had served with the abbey. St. John’s is one of the biggest Benedictine monasteries in the country and the latest details have exposed a record of abuse that expands back decades. Clearly there was an epidemic of abuse in the group that is coming to light as more people come forward with their individual experiences of abuse. In 2016, a 15,000 page document detailed exactly who appeared to be implicated, how the cover up was managed along with who was just transported off to an alternative location. Recently, three more names have been added.
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Casimir Plakut, James Kelly and Augustine John Strub were all labeled as individuals who were likely to have committed mistreatment of children. All three mean are deceased and had left the church by the point of their deaths. Despite a clear pattern of abuse, St. John’s asserts that there have been zero events during the past two decades, which many find hard to believe. The vast majority of monks identified have either passed away, quit the clergy or been constrained inside their practices.
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The abbey generally seems to want the general public to think that the issue wrapped up with the original monks who were formally named, yet no one is able to grasp how many have been responsible for indecencies throughout the lengthy history of the abbey.
As the Vatican actually starts to weigh in about the issue, it additionally becomes a lot more likely that leaders who were personally associated with cover ups will be identified as well as disciplined whenever possible. Sadly, lots of the instances go as far back to the 1960s, meaning a number of the involved parties have since died. The documents that the church has presented show that leaders plainly dismissed early signals and did very little to nothing to prevent accused monks and priests from interacting with minors, and traveling and belonging to the church. It is still uncertain exactly how the addition of several more names to an expanding list will influence the abbey and the community at large. In a perfect world, it would result in stricter oversight and reporting. Let’s hope the church gets its act together and is focused on protection rather than damage control.
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