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Alleged Priest Abuse Victim Brings Case To The Streets

Jul 16, 2002 | Pioneer Press

Another past case of alleged sexual abuse by a Roman Catholic priest was brought to public light Tuesday on the streets of St. Paul as a civil suit was filed against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
The suit, which names former priest Lee Krautkremer, 61, as a co-defendant, was announced outside the Ramsey County Courthouse. The alleged victim, Theodore Krammer Jr., 34, of Forest Lake, then walked with his family, attorney Jeffrey Anderson and supporters nearly a mile uphill to the chancery.

A face-to-face meeting took place on the Summit Avenue sidewalk with the archdiocese's chief of staff. The Rev. Kevin McDonough acknowledged lapses after Krammer brought allegations against Krautkremer in 1983.

Specifically, McDonough said, the parishes where Krautkremer had previously served should have been notified, to alert other potential victims.

“I think we dropped the ball on this one,’’ McDonough told Krammer and his family. “You’ve helped us to bring the truth out on this.’’

Krammer says Krautkremer molested him at a Wisconsin cabin in 1977, when Krammer was 10. At the time, Krautkremer was a priest at St. Peter’s Church in Forest Lake, where Krammer was an altar boy and a student at the parish school.

Krammer told his family about the incident in 1983 when he was 16, and his parents, Ted and Mary, then had three meetings with archdiocesan officials, including then-Bishop Robert Carlson.

“We never received an apology from the archdiocese,’’ Ted Krammer Sr. said Tuesday.

“I’m sorry that when Bishop Carlson met with you 19 years ago that he did not apologize,’’ McDonough told the family. “Perhaps then he was not sensitized to that.’’

The Krammer family said they were led to believe in those 1983 meetings that Krautkremer would be dealt with. They are angry that he served in parishes after allegations were made, and that Krautkremer was not publicly identified previously as a past offender.

Following the Krammer family’s allegations of the abuse, Krautkremer served parishes in St. Michael, Minn., and Minneapolis.

In 1990, after the archdiocese’s first intensive study of clergy sexual abuse, Krautkremer became chaplain at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, where he served until this year.

Given the national attention to clergy sexual abuse, Archbishop Harry Flynn in March requested Krautkremer’s resignation as chaplain at North Memorial. Krautkremer resigned April 15.

Last winter, McDonough said, Krautkremer was ordered to stop providing substitute clergy help in parishes near the hospital.

Additionally, according to the sexual abuse policy adopted by U.S. Catholic bishops in June, Krautkremer no longer can serve as a priest, retain the title of “Father’’ or “Reverend,’’ or wear priestly garb. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday at the home he owns in Minneapolis.

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