St. Paul Priest Who Fathered Child Is Suspended, Fellow Cleric Says
By Emily Gurnon
July 31, 2013
The Rev. Daniel Conlin, a St. Paul priest who fathered a child with a married woman in 2004, has been suspended from "his faculties as a priest" by the archdiocese, according to a fellow cleric.
"It is with personal and fraternal sadness that I write to you about the recent events concerning Father Daniel Conlin," the Rev. Charles Lachowitzer, pastor at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Eagan, said in a letter Monday to parishioners and staff.
"His faculties as a priest have been temporarily suspended and for the time being, he is no longer able to exercise his public ministry," said the letter, posted on the church website.
Lachowitzer is a regional vicar. His duties are to "help foster communication between parishes, clergy and the archbishop," according to the official announcement of his appointment. He and Conlin were in the same ordination class in 1990.
A spokesman for the archdiocese confirmed that the letter was accurate.
The Rev. Mark Pavlik, a priest at St. Olaf Catholic Church in Minneapolis, said Wednesday afternoon that Conlin would not celebrate the church's Friday afternoon Mass as he has regularly done. Conlin was on the schedule to do so as of Wednesday morning.
The archdiocese emailed a letter to its priests the day after a July 21 Pioneer Press article about Conlin.
"We have tried for some time now to honor the privacy and respect the dignity of those involved, especially the mother and child," the letter from Vicar General Peter Laird said. "The situation is clearly regrettable and has never been condoned or excused."
The Pioneer Press reported on Conlin's fathering of a child, his continued involvement with the child's family, the response by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the reaction of Conlin's former parishioners.
Conlin, 51, did not immediately respond to a message left for him Wednesday.
Lachowitzer called Conlin a friend and said St. John Neumann and "many other parishes" had been "well-served by Father Dan's reverent celebration of the Mass and his inspiring words as a homilist."
Conlin's child was born in 2004, shortly after he was removed as pastor at St. Columba Church in St. Paul. He was later placed on the Metropolitan Tribunal, the marriage tribunal that makes decisions about annulments, and served on the tribunal until about a month before the Pioneer Press article was published.