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Former archdiocese official mishandled clergy sex abuse cases, investigation finds

Rev. Kevin McDonough did not always attend "to his duties to prevent harm and create safer environments," the archdiocese's investigation noted.
/ Source: Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — A former top official in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis mishandled clergy sex abuse cases and failed to protect children from abusive priests, an archdiocese investigation has concluded.

The archdiocese announced results of its investigation into the Rev. Kevin McDonough on Thursday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. The probe found that McDonough “had not always demonstrated sufficiently sound judgment in handling allegations of ministerial misconduct or in an attending to his duties to prevent harm and create safer environments.” He has not been accused of abusing children himself.

Efforts to reach him Friday were unsuccessful.

The archdiocese said McDonough can remain in the ministry but he won’t be allowed to hold any leadership positions. He will continue as pastor of Incarnation Catholic Church in south Minneapolis.

Frank Meuers, director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests in Minnesota, said the investigation couldn’t have been serious because it went on for four years. Meuers met in 2017 with the Ministerial Review Board to ask for accountability and transparency into McDonough’s role in the clergy abuse scandal.

The statute of limitations for filing claims for older abuse cases was lifted in 2013. By 2016, an estimated 500 people had filed claims against the archdiocese.

McDonough served as vicar general from 1991 to 2008 and was the delegate for safe environment from 2008 to 2013, directly overseeing sex abuse cases.