Curiouser and Curiouser: The Case of Rev. Gerald Dvorak

By Jennifer Haselberger
Canonical Consultation
May 20, 2015

 'Curiouser and curiouser!' cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English).

That sums up, in a nutshell, my response to yesterday's news that Reverend Gerald Dvorak, a priest of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, has been removed from ministry as a result of what the Archdiocese deemed to be a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.

Father Dvorak was certainly not on my radar when I worked at the St Paul Chancery, and the timing of the allegations also raises question. According to the statement released by the Archdiocese, the alleged abuse occurred in the 1970s, although Father Dvorak was not ordained a priest until June 2, 1979. An MPR news report includes a link to a letter from a parish deacon indicating that the alleged abuse occurred when Dvorak was a seminarian at the Saint Paul Seminary

If so, the Archdiocese's options in resolving this matter will be limited, which raises questions as to why they chose to approach the matter as they have. The provisions of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People do not apply, and any resolution will depend on the cooperation of all involved. 

Regardless, this may be only the beginning of what will end up being many weeks of bad news regarding the Archdiocese.


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