COLLEGEVILLE, MN – Saint John’s Abbey, made up of Catholic Benedictine monks, is releasing records showing sexual abuse by monks and lay people associated with the abbey, dating back to the 1930s, more than 80 years ago.
The abbey has released the names of 19 priests it can say with certainty engaged in sexual abuse.
Fr. Finian McDonald, 86, is one of those priests.
Abbey records show McDonald told a psychologist he had about 200 sexual encounters with children and adults.
Those included 13 or 14 year old prostitutes in Thailand.
Reports say at least six individuals have come forward alleging they were victims of McDonald, including one who was a minor at the time.
And five of the six say they were also abused by Fr. Bruce Wollmering, who’s dead now. Documents show that in 2006, a Saint John’s student reported that Wollmering bragged about hooking up with 300 sex partners.
Father Richard Eckroth is also dead. His files show gave naked massages to boys he brought back to a sauna in a Saint John’s cabin.
Fran Hofgen is no longer a priest. Records show Saint John’s Abbey gave him a $30,000 “gift” to help him ease on down the road, but not before he admitted to abusing a teen in the early 80s and to having sex with a student in a dorm room.
Saint John’s is one the country’s largest Benedictine monasteries, sitting in the heart of Minnesota where a lot of hearts are aching and breaking over monk-y business at the abbey.