Statement Regarding Rev. Thomas Joseph
By Bernard A. Hebda
Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis
January 23, 2018
The Archdiocese’s Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment was contacted by an adult alleging inappropriate conduct on the part of Father Thomas Joseph, Parochial Administrator of the Church of Saint Nicholas in Carver. Following our protocols, that Office immediately contacted law enforcement. Director Tim O’Malley provided them with the information we received, offered our assistance and described our procedures for handling such matters, including our commitment to not taking any action that would interfere with their investigation. We indicated to them that it was our policy that clergy under criminal investigation are removed from ministry for the duration of the investigation.
Yesterday, the investigating law enforcement agency notified us that our removal of Father Joseph from ministry would not interfere with an investigation they have begun of an allegation against Father Joseph of criminal conduct involving an adult. With that clarification, Father Joseph was removed temporarily from ministry, pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.
Father’s removal from ministry should not be considered an indication or presumption of guilt.
Anyone with additional information regarding this matter is encouraged to contact their local law enforcement agency.
Father Thomas Joseph requested that, with this announcement, I include a statement that he has issued:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I wish to express my surprise and dismay at these allegations. It is paramount that we as Catholics come together in God’s Light to seek the truth. I believe in our system of justice and I understand the need to fully investigate any accusations. While I am prepared to cooperate with this investigation to clear my good name and the name of the Church, I wish to emphasize my innocence. I ask all of you to pray for me and be assured of my prayers for you.
In Christ Jesus
Father Thomas Joseph