Statement Regarding Fr. Robert Harrison, OFM Cap.

Capuchin Province of St. Joseph

5 January 2015

The Capuchin Province of St. Joseph reports that Fr. Robert Harrison, OFM Cap. Has been removed from public ministry. On Monday, 22 December 2014, the Capuchin Province of St. Joseph learned that Fr. Harrison had abused minors in Milwaukee WI, and New York NY.

To the province’s knowledge, that sexual abuse occurred during the 1970s and 1980s. The province has not received any allegations from victims. The province learned this information on 22 December 2014 during an investigation into Fr. Harrison’s finances. When confronted by the province, Fr. Harrison then admitted to abuse of minors. Fr. Harrison informed the province that, to the best of his knowledge, no one ever reported any of the abuse to the province.

During the June 2013 audit of the Capuchin files, Fr. Harrison’s files were reviewed by the auditors. The auditors reported no evidence that suggested that Fr. Harrison may have been involved with the abuse of minors.

Immediately upon receiving the information on 22 December 2014, Fr. Harrison was removed as teacher and basketball coach from Cardinal Hayes High School, The Bronx NY. He is barred from public ministry as required under the terms of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. He is currently at a professional facility where he cannot have any contact with minors.

Per Capuchin Province of St. Joseph policy, the abuse was reported to the district attorney offices in Manhattan NY, The Bronx NY and Milwaukee WI. The province will continue to work cooperatively with civil authorities in this matter.

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