A Statement from Saint John's Abbey
By William Skudlarek
October 26, 2007
In 2002 Saint John's Abbey drafted a Policy on Sexual Abuse and Sexual Exploitation which remains posted on its website and by which the Abbey continues to be guided. The Abbey continues to reach out to possible victims and to urge that any victim come forth either to the Abbey or to the independent victim advocate published on the Abbey's website.
In 1994 third-party concerns were expressed about the friendship of Fr. Tom Andert, O.S.B., with a student. The concerns led to an intensive internal investigation. As part of the investigation the student was invited to the Abbey and, in an interview with Abbot Timothy Kelly, O.S.B., he categorically denied that any sexual misconduct had occurred. The investigation revealed no credible charges of sexual abuse.
Saint John's Abbey will not allow the destruction of any person's reputation and good name on the basis of unverified public charges that often include false or misleading information and hearsay. Nor will the Abbey engage in a discussion in the media of allegations of abuse against a member of the monastic community.
Consistent with its policy, the Abbey continues to urge the person named in these charges to approach the Walk-in Counseling Center in Minneapolis (612-870-0565) if he has additional information to report. The Center is an independent agency engaged by Saint John's Abbey to assist anyone who may have experienced abuse by a monk of the Abbey.
Fr. William Skudlarek, O.S.B.
Saint John's Abbey Spokesperson
26 October 2007
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