St. Cloud Diocese, Catholic priest sued following sexual misconduct allegations

SC Times

April 1, 2019

The Diocese of St. Cloud is among the defendants in a civil lawsuit accusing a Catholic priest of sexual misconduct with a former female pastoral assistant, according to a civil lawsuit filed recently in Stearns County District Court.

The lawsuit was filed March 21 by Theodosia Orlando, 32, who was a pastoral associate employed by the diocese from August to January, according to the complaint. Orlando claims she was subjected to “unwelcome, offensive and ongoing verbal and physical sexual harassment” by her supervisor, the Rev. Joseph Backowski.

Backowski, 36, is pastor of St. Mary of the Presentation Church in Breckenridge and St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Kent. According to a statement from the diocese on Friday, Backowski has been on administrative leave since early January because of “personal health concerns.”

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