ST. PAUL, Minn. - Written transcripts of the deposition of former Vicar General Kevin McDonough were released Thursday morning by both attorneys for an alleged victim of clergy sexual abuse and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
The former vicar general for the archdiocese, the Rev. Kevin McDonough, gave the deposition last week.
In it, McDonough acknowledges that he chose not to talk with St. Paul police investigators who are looking into allegations of clergy sexual misconduct. He also acknowledges he declined to be interviewed by a panel appointed by the archdiocese to review its policies and practices. He says most of his activity was already documented, so he didn't feel a need to defend his record.
Attorney Mike Finnegan of Jeff Anderson and Associates says McDonough's testimony supports their belief that the former Vicar General chose to protect abusive priests and the reputation of the archdiocese instead of the safety of children. He says McDonough's failure to notify authorities put thousands of children at risk.
In his deposition, McDonough also refutes testimony from Archbishop John Nienstedt, who told attorneys that McDonough told him told him not to write down sensitive information about abusive priests because the information could become public in the event of lawsuit. Nienstedt also claimed McDonough provided vague information on past cases and led him to believe that the archdiocese was safe for children.
McDonough denies telling Nienstedt not to write down sensitive information. In a transcript released by the archdiocese Thursday, he said the description of the conversation wasn't plausible. "He and I would have never been in a position for much casual conversation," McDonough said. "Archbishop Nienstedt managed largely by memo."
Finnegan told reporters Thursday that McDonough, who spent 25 years as a top official with the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, continues to deny and minimize the actions of abusive priests, and blames victims instead.
The archdiocese is expected to release a statement on McDonough's deposition later Thursday.