Church: 2 Minnesota priests taking leaves of absencesST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Two Twin Cities-area Roman Catholic priests have taken voluntary leaves of absence for "prior misconduct" that didn't involve children, the archdiocese said.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Two Twin Cities-area Roman Catholic priests have taken voluntary leaves of absence for "prior misconduct" that didn't involve children, the archdiocese said.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said Sunday that the Rev. David Barrett, an assistant pastor at the Church of St. Wenceslaus in New Prague, and the Rev. Paul Moudry, the pastor at St. Margaret Mary in Golden Valley, would remain on leave indefinitely.
The archdiocese said in its news release that neither of the priests' alleged misconduct involved children or members of the parishes that they currently serve. Barrett has been at St. Wenceslaus since 2009, and Moudry has been at St. Margaret Mary since 2001.
Jim Accurso, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said Monday that he could not go into any further detail about the nature of the misconduct. Barrett, reached by phone, declined to comment. Contact information for Moudry could not be immediately located. Neither man will perform any public ministry during his leave, the archdiocese said.
Archdiocese leaders have been under fire recently for mishandling allegations of sexual misconduct against a handful of priests, including allegations that are being investigated by the police. Archbishop John Nienstedt's top deputy stepped down in response, and some have called for called for Nienstedt to resign, as well.
In response, Nienstedt set up a Ministerial Standards Board to review church policies and he ordered a review of clergy files by an outside firm.
Accurso would not reveal whether Barrett or Moudry went on leave in response to findings by either the Ministerial Standards Board or the external review. However, the archdiocese noted in its news release that both priests would cooperate with the recommendations of the Ministerial Standards Board based on reviews of their actions.
The archdiocese also said Barrett had been under supervision by pastoral leadership and others at the archdiocese, and had undergone counseling during his current and prior assignments.