From Fr. Tom Carkhuff, Osc, Provincial, Crosier Province
Crosier Fathers and Brothers Province
June 29, 2002
In early June 2002, the Crosiers removed Fr. Neil Emon, osc, from public ministry because of past incidents of sexual misconduct. In 1988, when the Crosiers first became aware of allegations, Fr. Emon underwent psychological evaluation and treatment. He has continued to participate in on-going therapy since that time. The Crosier recommendation that Fr. Emon be assigned to work in the Archdiocese of Detroit was based on his psychologist's conclusion that Fr. Emon could remain in parish ministry with no restrictions. The Crosiers are not aware of any incidents of sexual misconduct by Fr. Emon since he began his treatment program in 1988. However, this spring, more detailed information relating to behavior in the mid-1970s was brought to our attention, and it became necessary to remove him from ministry. This is consistent with the recent Bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children & Young People.
From 1989 � 2000, Fr. Emon worked as an assistant pastor here at St. Alfred's Parish based on the understanding that he did not present a danger to anyone. When Fr. Emon was assigned to the Crosier Community in Phoenix, Arizona, he was placed on a restriction that he not be alone with anyone younger than 30. In Phoenix he was assigned to internal ministry within the Crosier Community. He also helped out by occasionally saying Mass at a parish in the area.
As you may have read in recent headlines, Father Jim Vedro, the Pastor at St. Joseph's in Trenton, was also removed this week for past incidents of sexual misconduct with adults. Father Vedro's presence in the Downriver area, particularly as Associate Pastor at St. Cyprian and Pastor at St. Joseph's, resulted from careful consultation, which convinced church leaders that he would not place anyone in those parishes or the public at risk. To our knowledge, Father Vedro has performed his duties at St. Cyprian and St. Joseph's with integrity and appropriate conduct. However, because we need to do all that we can to ensure the well being of the public, we find it necessary to take this action.
The foremost concern of the Crosier Order is for victims, their families and their healing. We continue to offer them our profound apologies for the pain and suffering they endure.
We Crosiers understand the great responsibility we have to the people we serve. We are concerned with the way in which sexual misconduct allegations have been handled in the past and are responding in a very serious manner. Sexual misconduct will not be tolerated:
• We have commissioned an independent audit of all allegations of sexual misconduct, even in cases were an initial investigation found no wrongdoing.
• We are taking extensive measures to ensure the public is not as risk while our files are being audited.
• We are reviewing and revising our sexual misconduct policies to ensure further public accountability.
• We are contacting Bishops in the dioceses where we serve to discuss how we will comply with the U.S. Bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People recently approved in Dallas.
I appreciate the concerns that you must have on hearing this news for the first time. We have learned a lot over these past months about public expectations around decision-making and communication related to sexual misconduct in the Church. When I was ordained a priest 26 years ago I never dreamed that I would be involved in addressing issues of sexual misconduct in the way we must at this time. I want you to know that I pledge to continue responding to them with conviction and faith.
Anyone with information that would assist in the ongoing investigation, please contact me: Fr. Tom Carkhuff, osc, Provincial, at 3510 Vivian Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota 55126 651-486-7456 or Daniel Connolly, Faegre & Benson LLP, at 612-766-7806.
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