North Dakota dioceses release list of accused clergy members

North Dakota dioceses release list of accused clergy members

North Dakota dioceses release list of accused clergy members

In a 2014 file photo, Bishop John T. Folda of Fargo celebrates Mass. On Jan. 2, the dioceses of North Dakota released a list of 53 clergy members who have had substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. (Credit: Nancy Wiechec/CNS.)

North Dakota's Catholic dioceses on Thursday released a list of 53 clergy members who have had substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.

FARGO, North Dakota — North Dakota’s Catholic dioceses on Thursday released a list of 53 clergy members who have had substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.

Bishop John Folda of the Fargo Diocese said in a statement that the list is the result of a “thorough review” of files dating back to 1950. Bishop David Kagan of Bismarck said there have been no substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor that have occurred after 1989.

The list includes 31 people in the Fargo Diocese and 22 in Bismarck. Some of them were not ordained in North Dakota but served in the state at some point.

“While one claim is one too many, the Church acknowledges her brokenness because of the action of a few and recognizes our responsibility for healing and reconciliation,” Kagan said in a statement on the diocese website.

Officials with the Fargo Diocese, which has about 70,000 members, and the Bismarck Diocese, which has about 62,000 parishioners, have balked at releasing lists in the past, saying they were worried about privacy concerns for employees.

“It is my hope that this release of names will open the way to a purification of our church, especially our own diocese,” Folda said in his statement.

The list of priests from the Fargo Diocese includes Father Richard Sinner, the brother of former North Dakota Gov. George Sinner. Richard Sinner, who died in 2004, was ordained in 1952 and eventually removed from the ministry, according to the diocese. George Sinner died in 2018.


Crux is dedicated to smart, wired and independent reporting on the Vatican and worldwide Catholic Church. That kind of reporting doesn’t come cheap, and we need your support. You can help Crux by giving a small amount monthly, or with a onetime gift. Please remember, Crux is a for-profit organization, so contributions are not tax-deductible.

Latest Stories

Most Read

Latest Stories