Roseville Priest Reinstated after Abuse Investigations
By Mukhtar Ibrahim
Minnesota Public Radio
March 17, 2016
A Roseville priest on leave pending investigations into an allegation that he sexually abused a minor will return to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Archbishop Bernard Hebda announced Thursday.
Rev. Robert Fitzpatrick will be reinstated to public ministry in the archdiocese after the completion of two investigations by law enforcement and the archdiocese.
In August last year, the archdiocese contacted the police after it received an allegation that Fitzpatrick had sexually abused a minor in the 1980s. Fitzpatrick, a pastor at Saint Rose of Lima and Corpus Christi churches, denied the allegation and took a leave of absence.
"Law enforcement completed their investigation and closed their case based on a lack of evidence and the statute of limitations," Hebda, who serves as temporary head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, said in a statement.
The archdiocese also said it launched its own investigation. It turned investigative materials over to the Archdiocesan Ministerial Review Board, which "determined that there was not a reasonable basis to find that the alleged abuse occurred," according to the statement.
"We are currently working with Father Fitzpatrick and staff to determine the best way to reintegrate him into ministry," Hebda said.