Diocese of St. Cloud
Director of Communications
August 25, 2015
STATEMENT REGARDING TODAY’S COMPLAINTS
The Diocese of St. Cloud has been named in two civil lawsuits alleging that Father Donald Rieder sexually abused two minors in the 1960s while he was assigned at St. James Parish in Randall and St. Anne Parish in Kimball.
The diocese has not yet had an opportunity to review the complaints and cannot comment on the specifics at this time.
In January 2014, Bishop Donald Kettler included Rieder on a list he released to the public of 33 clergy likely involved in the sexual abuse of minors in the past. Rieder was ordained in 1955 and served at St. Mary, Alexandria (1955-1958); St. James, Randall (1958-1964); St. Anne, Kimball (1964-1969); Assumption, Morris (1969-1970); St. Agnes, Roscoe (1970-1971); St. Louis, Paynesville (1971-1976); chaplain, St. Gabriel’s Hospital, Little Falls (1977-1984); St. Stanislaus, Sobieski (1980-1985); and St. John Cantius, St. Cloud (1985-1995). After his retirement, Rieder volunteered as a chaplain at St. Cloud Hospital on his own initiative and not by appointment.
When an allegation against Rieder came forward in 2002, Bishop John Kinney removed Rieder from all public ministry. Following that allegation, the bishop convened listening sessions at the parishes in which Rieder served; however, listening sessions scheduled twice in Randall were cancelled because of inclement weather. Parishes hosting the sessions were directed to publish notices about them in their parish bulletins at least two weeks prior and to announce the sessions from the pulpit. Criminal charges also were filed against Rieder and he was convicted after pleading guilty in 2003 and served time in jail. He died in 2013.
In light of the two new allegations, Bishop Kettler will hold listening sessions for the parish communities where Rieder served. When the schedule and specific locations for the sessions are determined, they will be announced in parish bulletins and from the pulpit; they also will be published on the diocese’s website (www.stclouddiocese.org) and in the diocesan newspaper, The Visitor.
Bishop Kettler encourages all victims of abuse to come forward. Contact information for victim advocates and county officials to whom abuse can be reported is available online at: http://stcdio.org/about/safe-environment/how-to-report-abuse. The diocese’s sexual misconduct policy, first promulgated by the bishop of the Saint Cloud Diocese in 1991 and revised in 2003 and 2007, also is available online at: http://stcdio.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/misconduct_policy.pdf. The diocese aims to provide safe environments for everyone and works in compliance with the U.S. bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”