Archdiocese Reinstates Accused Priest
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has reinstated a priest who had been accused of sexually abusing a minor in the 1980s.
The Rev. Robert Fitzpatrick had been pastor at Corpus Christi and St. Rose of Lima churches in Roseville before the allegation surfaced in August. Fitzpatrick denied the allegation and went on voluntary leave.
In a statement Thursday, Archbishop Bernard Hebda says police closed the case based on a lack of evidence and the statute of limitations. He says the archdiocese conducted its own investigation. A ministerial review board concluded the allegation was unsubstantiated and recommended that Fitzpatrick be returned to ministry.
Hebda says he concurred, and that the archdiocese is working with Fitzpatrick and staff to determine the best way to reintegrate him into ministry.