Crosier Fr. Greg Poser, osc, reinstated to public ministry following thorough investigation
30-AUG-17 (Phoenix, Arizona) – On May 3, 2016, a parishioner of St. Odilia Parish in Shoreview, Minnesota, where Fr. Greg Poser, osc, had served from mid-1974 to mid-1978, alleged that on one occasion Fr. Greg had inappropriate sexual contact with her while she was a minor. Fr. Greg denied the accusation, which is the only accusation that has ever been made against him. Immediately upon hearing of this accusation and in accord with its sexual misconduct policy, the Crosier Province treated the allegation as credible, suspended Fr. Greg from all public ministry and cooperated with a criminal investigation initiated by the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office. The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office completed its criminal investigation in July of 2016, and the Crosiers were informed that the results had been referred to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office for a case evaluation. The case evaluation was completed in March of 2017, and the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office informed the Crosier Province that no criminal charges would be issued. Following the conclusion of the investigation by the Ramsey County authorities, the Crosiers, in accord with their sexual misconduct policy, engaged an independent investigator to conduct a review for the purpose of a separate determination of whether sufficient evidence could be found to substantiate misconduct by Fr. Greg.
Based on the results of this additional investigation, the investigator has concluded that there is insufficient supporting evidence to substantiate any misconduct by Fr. Greg.
In accord with its sexual misconduct policy, the Crosier Province then had its Review Board members evaluate the allegation against Fr. Greg, the facts of the investigation provided by the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, the decision of the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office not to issue criminal charges, along with the report of the independent investigator. The Crosier Review Board members, having reviewed all of the information presented and available, have communicated to Crosier Prior Provincial Thomas Enneking, osc, that (1) the investigation and evaluation of the claim of sexual misconduct against Fr. Greg was properly completed in accord with the Crosier sexual misconduct policy; (2) the Review Board supports the conclusion of the independent investigation that there is not sufficient evidence to substantiate any misconduct by Fr. Greg, and (3) Fr. Greg should be reinstated in public ministry.
Following this determination, Fr. Enneking consulted Bishop Donald Kettler of the Diocese of St. Cloud, where Fr. Greg had been assigned to work in the South Mille Lacs cluster of parishes. The bishop is satisfied that the Crosiers have followed their misconduct policy thoroughly and to his satisfaction such that the claims against Fr. Greg appear to lack credibility. Therefore, Bishop Kettler has decided to reinstate the priestly faculties of Fr. Greg, and Fr. Greg will again be allowed to function publicly as a Crosier priest as of the publication of this communication.
The Crosiers take all allegations of sexual abuse by one of their members seriously and encourage anyone with knowledge of such claims to come forward for the safety of the public. The Crosiers appreciate the patience and the care taken by many who have worked through this situation and are glad that Fr. Greg has been found able to serve the Church in public ministry once again. The Crosiers continue to pray for all who have suffered abuse.