Pastor’s resignation accepted

SATURDAY, NOV. 20, 2004

SEATTLE – Catholic Archbishop Alexander Brunett has accepted the resignation of a priest who says he himself was molested by a priest as a child.

On Thursday, Brunett sent a letter informing parishioners at St. Brendan’s Church in suburban Bothell, where the Rev. Lawrence Minder had served as pastor.

Brunett will appoint someone to manage parish business until a successor is named.

Minder originally submitted his resignation in August after announcing to his congregation that he had been abused decades ago.

He said then he was resigning rather than undergo a psychological assessment Brunett had requested due to concerns about Minder’s alcohol use. Court records show Minder was arrested in 1999 and paid a $1,115 fine for drunken driving.

The archdiocese and Minder reached an agreement in September under which the priest was to take a paid leave of absence and undergo evaluation at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Brunett had hoped the priest would return to his parish, said archdiocese spokesman Greg Magnoni.

The archbishop decided to accept the resignation after receiving a request from Minder late last month for additional time for treatment – possibly until April, Magnoni said.

In August, Minder said he had been molested by a priest 30 years earlier, and that the priest remained on assignment after he reported what had happened.

It was not clear this week whether Minder still wanted to resign. Magnoni said Brunett has not been in contact with him recently, although others in the archdiocese have. Minder could not immediately be reached for comment.

Officials in the Yakima Diocese have confirmed that Minder came to them with allegations against a priest who once worked there. Minder has not publicly identified the priest he said abused him, but Russell Mazzola, chairman of the Yakima Diocese’s lay advisory board, said it was the Rev. Richard Scully, who is no longer in the ministry.

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