The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Con man posing as deacon charged with abuse

An unusual abuse accusation out of Minneapolis:

A man who alleges that he was sexually abused as a child by a con man posing as a Roman Catholic deacon went public Monday to challenge recent statements made about the case by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.


Ben Magler, now 28, has filed suit claiming that as an elementary school student he was molested by a deacon at St. Agnes Parish in St. Paul to whom he had gone for counseling. The supposed deacon, Thomas Kemp, later was discovered to be a fraud.

Last Thursday, the victim-advocates group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) called a news conference to publicize the case. In response, the archdiocese said that Kemp never served as a deacon.


Magler said that statement is not true.

“I called him Deacon Tom,” he said, adding that he did so in front of church leaders who never corrected him. Magler also provided a photograph of a party at his home in which Kemp is wearing a clerical collar.


Archdiocese spokesman Dennis McGrath said Kemp might have been presenting himself as a deacon, but “that doesn’t change the fact that the faculties for a deacon, which have to be issued by the archbishop, were never issued. There is no question about that.”


Continue reading at the link

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posted October 13, 2009 at 1:39 pm

I find the comment by the church spokesman at the end of the news article rather unfortunate.
– McGrath also accused Bob Schwiderski, the director of the Minnesota SNAP chapter, of “fomenting this whole situation in order to get publicity for his cause.”
The victim complained to the church in 2002, but everything was under raps until 2007 it seems. The police were never called, they just sent the fake deacon packing. I don’t see how his fakeness in any way reduces the culpability of the parish for what this guy did. He didn’t get paid as a deacon, but he did work as the general manager of the parish’s TV station, so he was on the payroll.

report abuse


posted October 13, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Ah! A “victim” of abuse who won’t be able to dip into the lucrative well of molestee dollars coming from the Church. Too bad!
Tell the guy to get a life, move on, take a Prozac and recognize he’s gay.

report abuse


posted November 2, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Bob Schwiderski is only interested in getting publicity for himself and criticizing the Catholic Church every time he gets the opportunity. He could care less about the victim, it is all about him and getting himself in the press. Very angry self serving man.

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