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Suzanne Severson and Bob Schwiderski tell reporters Tuesday that they want anyone abused by Catholic church leaders to contact police. Severson holds a photo of Brother Raimond Rose, who has been sued several times by people who claim he sexually abused them years ago. They stand in front of the St. Paul office of the Christian Brothers of Minnesota. Don Davis/Minn. State Capitol Bureau

Catholic brother accused of more sex abuse

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ST. PAUL - A group fighting sexual abuse by Catholic clergy wants people who have been abused as far back as the 1960s to contact law enforcement officials as more allegations surface about a brother who taught in several Upper Midwest schools.

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Bob Schwiderski of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests on Tuesday called on anyone who may have been abused at a church retreat along the St. Croix River north of the Twin Cities to contact law enforcement authorities and his organization. He earlier sought the same information from those who came in contact with Brother Raimond Rose, who worked at Twin Cities, Fargo, N.D., and Stevens Point, Wis., high schools.

At least four lawsuits accuse Rose of sexually abusing boys starting in the 1960s. Christian Brothers of the Midwest, the order to which Rose belongs, settled a California suit over a 1982 incident for $1.1 million. The other suits are pending.

The latest suit, filed this week in St. Paul, accuses Rose of abusing a then-15-year-old Twin Cities boy during a 1969 or 1970 Chicago field trip.

Some court documents allege abuses took place at the Dunrovin Christian Brothers Retreat Center, near the St. Croix River, which hosts events for Twin Cities-area and western Wisconsin Catholics.

The suits claim the Christian Brothers knew Rose was sexually abusing boys.

Schwiderski said he expects more suits to be filed over allegations of abuse at Dunrovin. He urged anyone who was abused, or knows of someone who was abused, to not only call police, but also his organization at (877) 762-7432.

Rose, who at 76 now lives near a Chicago high school, has not commented on the lawsuits. However, the brother who leads Christian Brothers said Rose has had no contact with minors since 2002, when he ceased his active ministry.

Brother Francis Carr said on Tuesday that he has not seen the latest suit, but issued a statement prepared when previous suits were announced.

"Given who we are, the abuse of any child is an affront to our mission and purpose, and we do not and will not tolerate such abuse," Carr said.

Rose taught at Shanley High School in Fargo from 1976 to 1980. He taught in Twin Cities Catholic schools in the 1960s and 1970s.

A Minnesota Corrections Department spokeswoman confirmed that Rose served from July 1994 to January 1999 as a chaplain at Minnesota Correctional Facility-Red Wing.

Rose taught U.S. history to when Suzanne Severson attended the now-closed Archbishop Brady High School in West St. Paul.

"They guy is fun to be around," she said of why youths liked to associate with him. "He is pleasant."

Severson, with the Twin Cities Voice of the Faithful and a colleague of Schwiderski, said she is working to get others in her class of 1976 to report any abuse.

Schwiderski said he encourages the reporting of abuse for one reason: "I want to see Raimond Rose behind bars."

The outspoken survivors' network spokesman said church leaders "dropped him on the unsuspecting families and children" of Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

Mike Longaecker of the Red Wing Republican Eagle contributed to this report.

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Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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