A Call for Truth

The news that two priests from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis are taking leaves of absence for “misconduct” is alarming. Rather than tell the public the truth about the reasons for removing the priests, the Archdiocese continues to tell half-truths. We are alarmed about an Archdiocese that continues to mislead, deny, and conceal important information from the public.

Survivors of sexual abuse by priests need action and the public needs the truth. As Father David Barrett and Father Paul Moudry take leaves of absence, the Archdiocese is missing another opportunity to be transparent and truthful. In its statements about Fr. Barrett and Fr. Moudry the Archdiocese fails to indicate in what type of “misconduct” the priests were involved. The statements merely say that the abuse took place “many years ago,” and “[the] misconduct did not involve a violation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”

I find myself shaking my head at the Archdiocese’s apparent inability to understand and implement a true policy of transparency.

The Archdiocese is in a unique position of power, authority, and persuasion. With this position comes a necessity for transparency. Thus, when the public is told that Fathers Barrett and Moudry committed an act of “misconduct” so serious as to require a leave of absence, public safety demands the Archdiocese disclose to parishioners and everyone else in the community the true nature of the misconduct.

What have these men done that caused them to take a voluntary leave of absence?

What is the serious nature of the misconduct?

Blanket statements and half-truths shrouded in secrecy are not enough.  The Archdiocese can and must tell the public the truth about clergy misconduct.