By Ryan Gueningsman
ST. PAUL, MINNEAPOLIS, MN The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis recently disclosed a list of clergy who have been accused of sexual misconduct with a minor.
A priest who served in Delano during the late 1980s and early 1990s is on the list, according to The Catholic Spirit. A priest who served as a temporary administrator at Sts. Peter and Paul in Loretto is also included on the list.
Robert Zasacki, who was ordained in 1967, served as pastor of St. Peter and St. Joseph Catholic Churches in Delano from 1989 to 1995.
Prior to serving in Delano, Zasacki served in Lindstrom, Lino Lakes, St. Paul, and Forest Lake. After leaving Delano, he served in Robbinsdale and Hopkins.
Zasacki was permanently removed from ministry in 2008, and died in 2008.
Joseph Wajda, who was ordained in 1973, served as a temporary administrator at Sts. Peter and Paul in Loretto in 1986.
He went on to serve in Minneapolis and St. Paul. He was permanently removed from ministry in 2003. He is now 66 and lives in Minneapolis.
Included in the disclosure are clergy members from other dioceses or religious orders who at one time worked in the archdiocese and were accused of engaging in sexual abuse of minors in the archdiocese, to the extent the diocese has reliable and sufficient information to determine whether the claim was credible and could be substantiated, according to The Catholic Spirit.
“Over the last several decades, some clergy members of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis unfortunately have violated the sacred trust placed in them by children, youth, and their families by committing acts of sexual abuse, said Archbishop John Nienstedt in a column on The Catholic Spirit website.
“This is a tragedy that has caused insufferable harm to victims, their families, parishioners, and the Church. I must say once again to all victims of this abuse: I am so sorry for the pain you have endured. You have been on my mind and in my heart as I offer my daily prayers for you.”
Nienstedt said he and his staff “are completely committed to combating the problem of sexual abuse and doing all we can to ensure that these horrors are never repeated in the Church.”
He said it is the practice of the archdiocese to report promptly to law enforcement all allegations of clergy sexual abuse of minors. Any clergy member facing a credible claim of sexual abuse of minors will be removed from ministry pending an investigation of the claim.
“Now, if the claim is credible and can be substantiated, our new disclosure practices will require that claim to be disclosed on our website,” he wrote, further outlining new disclosure practices for the archdiocese.
For more information, visit www.archspm.org.