September 18, 2014 – Statement Regarding James Thoennes

Categories: News Releases / Statements


Diocese of St. Cloud  


Joe Towalski
Director of Communications
(O) 320-258-7624

September 18, 2014


At a press conference in St. Paul today, a brief video excerpt from a deposition taken Sept. 9 from James Thoennes was shown. Thoennes, a priest of the Diocese of Saint Cloud, is included on a list of clergy in the diocese likely involved in the sexual abuse of minors in the past. Bishop Donald Kettler released the list last January.

Thoennes does not have faculties to serve publicly as a priest and currently lives in St. Cloud under restrictions. He is not allowed to have contact with minors unless another adult is present. He must receive permission to travel outside the immediate St. Cloud area. He is required to meet quarterly with a monitoring committee — composed of two lay counselors and the diocese’s vicar general — which reviews the restrictions and makes recommendations to the bishop for revisions as needed. Thoennes also must meet monthly with another lay counselor. Additionally, he is required to keep a daily activity log that is reviewed regularly.

As part of his continued commitment to transparency, Bishop Kettler intends to post the full transcript and video of Thoennes’ deposition in the near future at