Michael Kolar, former priest, tells of the sexual abuse he gave and received in new documents

Categories: Religion
Artwork by Martin Ontiveros
"What began so innocently has ended in a Holocaust, and I have learned more in 3 years than one possibly learns in 90."

So wrote a young woman in a 1979 letter that is perhaps the most haunting piece of evidence yet against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

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Jennifer Haselberger was ignored, bullied before blowing whistle on archdiocese, records show

Today the priest in question is Michael Kolar, but the documents (made public by attorney Jeff Anderson) look the same. They bear the same signatures. They tell the same story -- of abuse and denial and fear. Only this time, we find tragedy heaped upon tragedy.

Before leaving the priesthood, in 1992, Kolar told the church that as a boy his female babysitter had fondled him and that Jerome Boxleitner tried to rape him in seminary school. They were on a trip to the priest's lakeside cabin.

Boxleitner's name has been thrown around certain circles as a possible abuser in the past, but, as the former head of Catholic Charities, he was the closest thing the Twin Cities have to a saint. The Pioneer Press once described Boxleitner as a "cross between Michael the Archangel, a Chicago ward boss and a gruff uncle."

Contrast that image with the one offered by Kolar. He told no one of the attempted rape, but walked away from the experience a changed man:
What it did was give me permission to take care of my sexual problems provided that I did it covertly. That is the way he handled his sexuality; I was, thus, taught that that was the way I could handle mine.
Around this same time, the seminarians noted in Kolar's file that his judgment was "questionable on occasion." Still, his first gig after ordination was as assistant director at the Catholic Youth Center in 1969. The first reports of abuse showed up a decade later, and the archdiocese reacted by deeming the allegations untrue and suggesting the victims (including the young woman who wrote the letter) were emotionally disturbed.

But by the late 1980s, as the number of allegations grew, Kolar was seeing a therapist regularly. And so was at least one of his victims. He took a morning job at White Castle to pay for the counseling.

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My Voice Nation Help

I can never again trust any clergy in the RCC. They bear a kinship to the homosexuals who want to get married because it's natural for them. Then they turn around and have their disgustingly lewd parades that we taxpayers pay for with increased police protection. The clergy are cut from the same bolt of cloth. They are all covert con artists.

Carol Berg
Carol Berg

I am so upset that the first thing I saw on this subtitle was the dangling prep phrase. I am sorry!

Erik Seavey
Erik Seavey

Evil. It has been forever. They think the pope is selected by God's will. But perhaps it is the work of the devil. The evil that the Catholic Church has done in the history of mankind outweighs any good it has done. All of the priests, bishops, cardinals, nuns, monks, etc should erect crosses and crucify themselves in order to make the world a better place. Evil.

Randy Jackson
Randy Jackson

How can anyone in their right mind allow their kids anywhere near a catholic chuch. It's a ridiculously disgusting organization.

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