Roseville Priest Returns to Active Ministry, Cleared of Abuse Allegations
By Elizabeth Mohr
March 17, 2016
A Roseville priest has been reinstated after investigations by St. Paul police and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis showed no evidence of a crime.
The Rev. Robert Fitzpatrick, pastor at Corpus Christi parish and St. Rose of Lima parish and school, went on leave in August following an allegation that he sexually abused a minor in the 1980s. He denied the allegation.
“Law enforcement completed their investigation and closed their case based on a lack of evidence and the statute of limitations,” a statement from the archdiocese said Thursday. “With authorization from law enforcement, the archdiocese commenced its own investigation of the allegation.”
The Archdiocesan Ministerial Review Board, composed primarily of laypersons, reviewed the case and determined “there was not a reasonable basis to find that the alleged abuse occurred.”
Archbishop Bernard Hebda said he agreed with the findings and ordered Fitzpatrick returned to active ministry. “We are currently working with Father Fitzpatrick and staff to determine the best way to reintegrate him into ministry,” Hebda said in a statement.
Fitzpatrick, ordained in 1973, has been part of the local archdiocese for more than 40 years.
His work assignments have been as associate pastor at St. Olaf in Minneapolis from 1973 to 1977; associate pastor at Holy Spirit in St. Paul from 1977 to 1984; pastor at St. John the Evangelist in Little Canada from 1984 to 2005; and pastor at St. Rose of Lima and Corpus Christi in Roseville from 2005 to present.