Church Abuse

Lawyers for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis return to court Monday to ask a judge to dismiss a clergy sex abuse lawsuit that's already forced painful revelations about how top church officials handled allegations of misconduct by priests.

St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson filed the lawsuit last year for a man identified as Doe 1 who alleges he was molested by the Rev. Thomas Adamson while Adamson was working at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in St. Paul Park around 1976.

But the case has taken on a much greater significance. Anderson offered a novel legal theory that the archdiocese created a "public nuisance," and has used it to take court-ordered depositions from Archbishop John Nienstedt and other top church leaders - and to make them public.

The Winona Diocese will also be involved in the hearing seeking a change of venue if the case goes to trial. Adamson was formerly a priest in the Winona Diocese and the city of Winona and was accused of child abuse in the diocese but never charged because the statute of limitations had run out.  

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