|Assignment Record – Rev. Robert Michael Thurner
Summary of Case: Thurner admitted to archdiocesan officials in 1982 to having "sexual contact" with a boy. He was allowed to remain pastor of a Minnesota parish until six months later, when an allegation surfaced that he had sexually abused another boy. Thurner went on to serve at three more parishes. He abruptly retired in December 1991, just before a lawsuit was filed by the person he admitted to abusing. In 1993 Thurner was accused in another lawsuit of the sexual abuse of a boy from 1972 to 1977, beginning when the boy was 16 years old. Thurner admitted to "sexual contact" with this accuser as well. Thurner is said to have plied his victims with pornography and alcohol. In October 2013 Thurner was accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing an 8-year-old girl in the mid-1980s.
Incardinated: St. Paul
Retired: December 1991
St. Paul archbishop was John Gregory Murray (1931-1956), followed by William Otterwell Brady (1956-1961). Brady was replaced by Leo Binz (1961-1975) The archdiocese became known in 1966 as St. Paul and Minneapolis.
|1963||Most Holy Trinity||Minneapolis (St. Louis Park)||MN||2/2||Most Holy Trinity had a school with 237-369 students.|
|1963||1967||St. Luke's||St. Paul||MN||2/5||St. Luke's had a school with 1,430-1,252 students.|
|1967||1970||St. Michael's||Prior Lake||MN||1/1||St. Michael's had a school with 247-243 students.|
Binz was succeeded by John Robert Roach (1975-1995)
|1983||St. John the Evangelist's||
• Turner was accused in a 1993 lawsuit of the sexual abuse of a boy, beginning in 1972 when the boy was 16, and continuing until 1977. Thurner admitted to "sexual contact" maybe one time before the boy turned 18. Turner is said to have plied the boy with alcohol.
• Thurner admitted when confronted by church officials in Nov. 1982 that he was "having sex with" a boy. He is said to have plied the boy with alcohol and pornography. After admitting to the sexual abuse of a boy, Thurner wrote a letter of resignation, which was not accepted. He continued to pastor at St. John's until six months later, when another accusation surfaced.
St. John's had a school with 196 students; in 1971 it consolidated with other area parochial schools.
After the second accusation, Thurner was transferred out of St. John's to another parish. The 'sexual contact' with the first boy is said to have begun in 1980 and continued until 1984, when the boy was a young adult.
West St. Paul
• Accused in a lawsuit filed in October 2013 of sexually abusing an 8-year-old girl, who was a second-grader at the parish school.
|MN||2/2||St. Joseph's had a school with 528-505 students.|
|1986||1986||St. Edward's||Bloomington||MN||temporary administrator||Thurner served at St. Edward's brieflly, per new reports.|
|June 1986||Dec. 1991||St. Therese's||St. Paul||MN||1/2, 1/1||
Consolidated school, Highland Catholic in St. Paul.
Thurner "retired" abruptly in Dec. 1991 just before a lawsuit was filed by the person Thurner admitted in 1982 to having sexually abused.
Harry Joseph Flynn followed Roach as St. Paul and Minneapolis archbishop (1995-2008)
|2001||Retired; Chancery Pro Tem||St. Paul||MN||Address listed is that of the Leo Byrne Residence, St. Paul, MN.|
Address listed is that of the Leo Byrne Residence, St. Paul, MN.
Thurner is not indexed beyond the 2002 Directory.
Per the archdiocese, Thurner was permanently removed from ministry in 2002.
In December 2013 Thurner was living in Maplewood, MN.
Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1952-2002)