|Archdiocese Statement on Removed Priest
March 18, 2011
A statement released Friday from Archdiocese Deacon Timothy McNeil, reads, "When this announcement was originally shared with St. Gerald parishioners, the Archdiocese of Omaha was not at liberty to fully disclose the reason for Father Robinson’s departure. Now it is important to give more information."
Robinson is not an archdiocesan priest, the statement clarifies. It states the Omaha Archdiocese is providing further information on Father Robinson's removal, since the Jesuit community of the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus announced the priest had joined them several weeks ago.
"Father Robinson was removed from St. Gerald Parish because an individual in California alleged in a letter to Archbishop George Lucas in mid-February that Father Robinson gave him an inappropriate back rub while the individual was a student and Father Robinson was a teacher at Milwaukee’s Marquette High School in the 1980’s.
"This individual also directed Archbishop Lucas to a 1993 article in the Milwaukee Sentinel that reported Father Robinson was in possession of inappropriate photography in the 1980’s.
"The allegation and the incident reported in the 1993 article, unknown to the archdiocese until February, prompted Archbishop Lucas to remove Father Robinson from active ministry in the Archdiocese of Omaha.
"Moreover, the allegation was brought before the Archdiocese of Omaha Review Board."
The Society of Jesus has told Archbishop Lucas it would immediately launch an investigation into the allegation in accord with its policies.
"The archbishop was awaiting the results of this investigation before sharing more information with St. Gerald parishioners," the statement reads.
"Until the release of this allegation to the news media by a third party, the archdiocese was abiding by Church teaching that asserts every individual has a right to a good name and reputation.
"At the same time, the archdiocese was following its policy to protect children whenever an allegation of misconduct is reported. To share the purpose of Father Robinson’s departure while the allegations had yet to be substantiated would have been a break from Church practice."
The Archdiocese asks anyone who has experienced inappropriate behavior with Father Robinson to contact Father Joseph Taphorn, vicar for clergy, at 402-558-3100 or Mary Beth Hanus, victim outreach and prevention manager, at 402-827-3798.
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