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Archdiocese Destroyed Father Donald Dummer's Porn Tapes, Records Show

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In January 2002, a part-time employee of St. Mary's Church in St. Paul sent a letter to a Catholic Parents OnLine in desperation. Five years earlier, the employee had been working in the room of Father Donald Dummer and "I was shocked by one video of boys 10 to 12 years of age playing basketball -- nude."

The once-secret letter, which was released Thursday by attorney Jeff Anderson, contains other allegations and suspicions -- that in the '90s Dummer rubbed his hands across a woman's breast, that he visited young boys after their release from the hospital, that he boasted of getting a hard-on during a wedding ceremony.

See also:
Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Adds Names of 17 Priests to "Credibly Accused" List


Other porn videos were said to contain adult-age males, all of which the employee delivered to then-Vicar General Kevin McDonough and waited. Finally: "I asked if he checked this out, and he said yes and that he destroyed the videos."

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis doesn't come off as a responsible institution in the Dummer file -- but neither does a papal representative in the states.

Meanwhile, the employee dug up even more of Dummer's videos and sent this batch along with his allegations to the Catholic parents organization, which in turn appealed to Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo of the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., for help. He didn't. Rather, Montalvo threw the problem back to the archdiocese, asking to be kept out of "the potential public scandal."

Other documents show that St. Paul Archbishop Harry Flynn had some reservations about Dummer -- for instance, he knew that Dummer had been briefly taken out of ministry for counseling -- but chalked his behavior up to a lack of prudence and common sense and limited social graces. Flynn also shifted blame, writing of the employee as having
emotional problems and Father Dummer doesn't seem to have the sensitivity to recognize that... They are good people but at the same time seem to overreact to the slightest provocation.
Elsewhere, Father Joseph Hitpas, one of Dummer's superiors, reports that he told Dummer to get rid of any other "inappropriate" materials and adds: "I will dispose of the tapes."

Dummer is still alive and living in Massachusetts, according to the archdiocese, which recently added him to the list of credibly accused priests. A publicly listed phone number for the priest -- who wasn't removed from ministry until 2006 -- has been disconnected since we last tried it in October.

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