Victim Resigns in Protest from Abuse Review Board

WCCO [St. Cloud MN]
August 19, 2006

(AP) St. Cloud, Minn. A sexual abuse victim resigned in protest Friday from an external review board formed by St. John's Abbey in response to the clergy sexual abuse scandal.

Last month, the abbey publicized allegations of sexual misconduct in the 1970s and 1980s that were made against three of its monks, one of whom has died. The allegations were first raised months or even years before the abbey made them public July 28.

"The delays in disclosure, and more so the delays in notifying potential victims where these men worked, was part of the reason why I felt I must resign," Marker told the St. Cloud Times.

Photo by The CBS / File

The nine-member review board meets monthly and reports to Abbot John Klassen on key issues ranging from assessment and supervision of offenders to assistance for victims.

Marker, 41, an Internet consultant from Mount Vernon, Wash., had flown to Minnesota for monthly meetings since he joined the board three years ago. He is a St. John's clergy molestation victim himself.

"The fact that I've been accused of being part of the problem by a caller who asked me why it took so long to come clean makes me feel I need to step down," Marker said.

The Rev. William Skudlarek, the abbey spokesman, declined to comment on Marker's resignation because he said he was not aware of it until contacted by the St. Cloud Times. David Baraga, the board chairman, could not be reached for comment, the Times said.

Marker, who attended St. John's Preparatory School in the 1980s, was one of the first victims to go public with allegations of sexual abuse by a St. John's Abbey priest. He started a Web site dedicated to clergy molestation victims and their stories, but took it down when he joined the board. Marker said he now plans to develop a new Web site "dedicated to the victims of abuse at St. John's."


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