Catholic Priest Had Over 200 Sexual Partners, Including Paid Young Male Prostitutes

Priest abuse victim Troy Bramlage speaking about abuse at St. John's Abbey in Minnesota, in a video published November 24, 2015.
Priest abuse victim Troy Bramlage speaking about abuse at St. John's Abbey in Minnesota, in a video published November 24, 2015. | (Photo: Fox 9 KMSP video screencap)

Newly released files on child sexual abuse at a Roman Catholic abbey in Minnesota have revealed that one priest had over 200 sexual partners, including children.

Fox 9 KMSP reported that the files, released by St. John's Abbey as part of a court settlement, show that as many as 19 monks may have abused hundreds of children over decades.

"We still need to get our voices out to people who have not come forward," said Troy Bramlage, one of the victims that was part of the settlement.

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Victims and their attorneys are working against the clock, as the statute of limitations for child sex abuse crimes runs out in six months.

One priest in particular, Father Finian McDonald, is said to have had 200 sexual partners during his priesthood, including children.

McDonald admitted to a therapist about his high number of sexual partners, USA Today pointed out.

The priest apparently stole money from church collection plates, and paid young male prostitutes for sex while working in Japan, the files revealed.

"And he admits in the file an attraction to boys as young as 12, with no ability to control his sexual impulses," Attorney Jeff Anderson revealed.

What is more, McDonald was allowed continued access to young Catholics until five years ago, Anderson added.

The files on four other priests accused of sex abuse were also released on Tuesday, including Frances Hoefgen, Bruce Wollmering, Richard Eckroth and Tom Gillespie. While Eckroth and Wollmering are now deceased, the other three priests remain under close supervision.

Anderson urged other victims to come forward as soon as possible, as Minnesota will revert back to its six-year statute of limitations for such crimes on May 25, 2016.

St. John's Abbot John Klassen said that the Abbey accepts full responsibility for the abuses that have been committed, and stated: "We are hopeful that, with this disclosure, we can help survivors find peace and resolution."

The statement added: "The huge majority of the documents in each of these files acknowledges the very real failures of some monks while showing each of the accused monks as a fallible, relatable person."

Child abuse stories continue gripping the Catholic church, and Pope Francis has apologized to the victims from around the world on numerous occasions.

The pontiff spent a short amount of time during his trip to the U.S. in September with five adults who had been abused as children by Catholic priests.

Francis said that he is "overwhelmed with shame" at the abuse the victims went through, and added:

"I hold the stories and the suffering and the sorrow of children who were sexually abused by priests deep in my heart. I remain overwhelmed with shame that men entrusted with the tender care of children violated these little ones and caused grievous harm. I am profoundly sorry. God weeps."

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