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Small Number of Accused Priests Have Far-Flung Influence

Only 30 clerics were on last week’s list of accused priests, but an animated Patch map and interactive timeline illustrate the scope of their time in the ministry.

There were just 30 clergymen on last week’s list of priests who have "credible claims against them" of sexually abusing minors. Those priests are a fraction of the clerics who served in the archdiocese between 1933 and 2012, the timeframe that the accused priests were in the ministry. For context, the archdiocese has 495 priests serving right now, plus 1,400 deacons and numerous religious brothers, according to the organization.

Yet the accused priests—some with long tenures in the church—have come into contact with more parishes than their small numbers suggests. In all, the priests have held positions at 92 of the 188 parishes in the archdiocese.

Some locations were home to accused clerics for a disproportionate amount of time. One accused cleric assigned to St. John’s Abbey spent a total of about 35 years there, the most of any location, according to a Patch analysis. Four accused priests spent a total of 31 years at Sacred Heart in Robbinsdale, the second-highest total and the most for a parish. At St. Joseph in Hopkins, the second-highest parish, five accused priests tallied 27 years.

(The information does not include four additional priests on the list for whom claims were unsubstantiated.)

The animated map above shows the growing number of locations affected over time. As time passes, locations receive a yellow dot for each year that an accused priest worked there in some capacity. When multiple priests work at a single location in the same year, that place receives a dot for each priest who was there. Locations where accused priests spent the most time turn red as the years pass.

The timeline marks the number of years that accused priests were assigned to a community. Use the search box to look up details on specific priests, their assignments, their current status and the parishes in your community.

Some users on mobile browsers will not be able to see the widgets above. If that’s the case for you, click the following links:

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Top 5 Locations for Accused Clerics (Number of Years)

  • St. John’s Abbey (Collegeville): One cleric, 35 years total
  • Sacred Heart (Robbinsdale): Four clerics, 31 years total
  • St. Joseph (Hopkins): Five clerics, 27 years total
  • St. Margaret Mary (Golden Valley): Three clerics, 25 years total
  • St. Alphonsus (Brooklyn Center): One cleric, 24 years total




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