Crookston Diocese Reinstates Priest after No Charges Filed in Abuse Inquiry
December 26, 2017
The Catholic Diocese of Crookston has reinstated a priest who was placed on administrative leave as pastor of parishes in Dilworth and Hawley after allegations of abuse surfaced in early 2016.
The Rev. Patrick Sullivan has been reinstated to priestly ministry at St. Elizabeth’s Parish in Dilworth and St. Andrew’s Parish in Hawley, the diocese said in a statement released Tuesday.
The diocese said Sullivan was placed on leave in April 2016 after the diocese was served with a civil complaint through the plaintiff’s attorney, Jeff Anderson. The complaint claimed that in 2008, while serving as pastor at St. Mary’s Mission Church in Red Lake, Minn., Sullivan engaged in unpermitted sexual conduct with the plaintiff when he was 15 years old.
The diocese said local and federal authorities investigated the matter and that no criminal charges were filed. The diocese noted that Sullivan has consistently denied the allegations and that no other allegations have been made against him.
The diocese said the decision to reinstate Sullivan was made after the plaintiff was deposed by diocesan attorneys, and the Diocese of Crookston Board of Review for the Protection of Children and Young People deemed the accusations were not credible.
A phone message left for Anderson at his St. Paul law firm was not immediately returned Tuesday.