Reinstatement of Fr. Kevin Christofferson

Diocese of Helena MT

May 8, 2023

By Bishop Austin A. Vetter

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

After contacting Butte Silver Bow Law Enforcement and following the completion of a third-party
investigation and consultation with the Diocesan Review Board, I am reinstating Father Kevin
Christofferson, a priest of the Diocese of Helena and pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Polson
and Sacred Heart Parish in Ronan, to active ministry effective May 8, 2023. A report of sexual abuse
against Fr. Christofferson, which was alleged to have occurred over twenty years ago, was not

In accordance with diocesan safe environment policy, Fr. Christofferson was placed on administrative leave
in October of 2022 after the report surfaced. This decision was sent to diocesan parishes and
communicated to media. While fully denying this and any other report of abuse, Fr. Christofferson willingly
stepped aside from active ministry. No other reports against him were received.

At that time, I notified law enforcement, and, per diocesan policy, initiated a third-party investigation. A
third-party investigator conducted interviews and thoroughly reviewed all the evidence available. Fr.
Christofferson cooperated with this investigation. The third-party investigator determined that there was
not sufficient evidence to support the report of abuse. No criminal charges were filed against Fr.

I presented all the information to the Diocesan Review Board, composed of parents, and business and
community leaders with expertise in psychology and law. The board concurred there was not sufficient
evidence to support the report of abuse and concluded that Father Kevin be returned to public ministry.
After careful consideration, I am pleased to return Father Kevin to his parishes and community.

At the same time, it is clear to me that Father Kevin’s experience has been very painful for all those
involved, especially for him, his family, and his parishioners. For this I am deeply sorry. Please know how
much I value your patience and prayers through this process. It has given our diocese the time needed to
deal with this difficult situation and confidently return Father Kevin to the parishes and ministry that he
cares for so deeply.

The Diocese of Helena, and I, take accusations of abuse or misconduct by employees or clergy seriously. If
you, or someone you know, is a victim of abuse by diocesan personnel or clergy, I encourage you to report
the incident to law enforcement and our Diocesan Victim’s Advocate, who can be reached at

Know of my continued prayers for you, and I ask that you please keep me in yours.

In Christ, I am

Most Reverend Austin A. Vetter

Bishop of Helena