ST. PAUL, Minn. - Church is where one can seek shelter, but there are some people taking cover that Jim Keenan wants to shed light on.
Keenan said in the 1980s a pastor at Risen Savior in Apple Valley molested him. Six years ago, Keenan sued the Diocese of Winona and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He hoped after decades of silence justice would come.
On Wednesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court rejected his case, citing a statute of limitations.
In a statement the archdiocese wrote that it "deeply regrets any pain or harm." It goes on to apologize "for any mistakes made in the handling of this situation."
Keenan said he's disappointed with the court ruling. Now he's turning to another priest for comfort.
Jim Fitzpatrick is a former priest who worked for both the Diocese of Winona and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
He said he knew about the alleged abuse at the hands of this priest as far back as the 1960s and tried many times to report it.
Fitzpatrick said nothing was ever done. He said he thought about going to the police until he heard about threats bishops were making to others like him.
"If you to go to the press or police, I will see to it personally that you will never work in this archdiocese or any archdiocese in the country," Fitzpatrick recalled overhearing a bishop say to two people who tried to report abuse.
Fearing for his job Fitzpatrick kept silent for nearly 50 years. He finally broke that silence last year at the urging of a friend. He was going to testify in Keenan's case if it went to trial, but now neither man will get their day in court.
Keenan's case may be at a dead end, but he said he's not done yet. He said he will share his story in hopes of helping others tell theirs.
"I shouldn't have to be a 45-year-old man still fighting for the concept of children needing to be safe. That shouldn't be a fight in our society. It should be a given," he said.
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