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Catholic priest accused of sex abuse served in lakes area

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On Dec. 31, the Diocese of Duluth released a list of clergy whom were credibly accused of sexual abuse of young persons while serving or residing in the Duluth Diocese. A former lakes area priest is on that list.

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The Rev. Kirby Blanchard, who is deceased, served at three lakes area churches from 1969-1971. The Diocese of Duluth news release states that he served as pastor at St. Christopher’s Church in Nisswa, St. Alice Church in Pequot Lakes and Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Pine River, from Feb. 27, 1969, to March 17, 1971.

The list also states that Blanchard was chaplain at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Brainerd from Sept. 1, 1976, to Dec. 5, 1993. He was removed from ministry on Dec. 27, 1995, and died Aug. 11, 2006. He served in numerous other cities as well, including Duluth, Garrison, Deerwood, Cohasset and Deer River. His career with the church spanned from 1953 to 1993.

Details of allegations against Blanchard or where they occurred are not included in the list.

The full list of names is posted at www.dioceseduluth.org.

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