Bishop Offers Apology 23 Dec 11

The St. Cloud diocese learned about sexual misconduct allegations against former deacon Michael Weber in the 1990s, and diocese reports indicate that two vicar generals have met with his victims, according to a statement from Bishop John Kinney.

The St. Cloud Times reports Kinney cited a lawsuit filed this month against the diocese as the reason he was declining recent requests for interviews about Weber and what the diocese knew and when. But Kinney released a statement this week that he read Monday night at a listening session at Church of the Holy Spirit in south St. Cloud in which he said he was “ashamed and humiliated” for what victims have suffered.

The listening session Monday was the second of two to address allegations that Weber sexually abused young boys in the late 1960s and early 1970s when he was a transitional deacon at Holy Spirit. One victim has sued Weber and the St. Cloud diocese alleging that the diocese knew about the abuse and covered it up.

Weber and his attorney have not responded to numerous requests for comment about the allegations.

The statement from Kinney offers an apology and asks for forgiveness for the suffering that victims and their families have endured.