Earlier today, the Communications department of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis issued a statement regarding the disclosure of 4 additional names and histories of men 'who have substantiated claims against them of sexually abusing a minor while they were assigned as priests, or, in the case of one, before he was a priest'. (the law firm of Jeff Anderson and Associates released 17 names today).
I would assume that most of us are rather tired by now of these oh-look-what-we-just-discovered disclosures, but today's is particularly noteworthy because of who is included: Raimond Rose, FSC.
The news that Brother Rose has been credibly accused is not new. In 2010 a lawsuit was filed alleging that he had abused twenty-one minor victims at seven different schools, including De La Salle in Minneapolis. What is new is that the Archdiocese has mistakenly identified him as a member of the clergy, subject to the restrictions of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People/Essential Norms, and capable of being 'removed from ministry'.
Brother Raimond Rose is a member of the Brothers of Christian Schools- an institute of lay men dedicated exclusively to the mission of education. They are not priests (and probably would be offended to be mistook for one)! Brother Rose did not abuse while a priest, nor did he abuse 'before he was a priest'. He was never in formation to become a priest. That is simply not what Christian Brothers do.
So, is this just another 'oops', or can we expect to see the disclosures regarding clergy sexual abuse expanded to include more credibly accused members of the laity? I guess we will have to wait and see.
[Let's go with 'oops', and this isn't the only one. The Archdiocesan website 'Safe Catholic' also states, in regard to Msgr. James Namie, 'Removed from active ministry in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 1970; permanently removed from ministry in 1995'. See below for a picture of Msgr Namie in public ministry (in the presence of three bishops) in 2005. It is likely that additional pictures exist of him celebrating Mass at Catholic Eldercare in Minneapolis in the years prior to his death. I am looking forward to his file being released, as there was a bit of a dust up when he died (in 2010). The Archdiocese was aware of the sexual abuse at that time, and there was a heated discussion about the funeral notice and ceremonies in light of the Archdiocesan policy on funerals for Charter priests. The Charter policy was not applied.]