Findings of Third-Party Investigation and Crosier Response
This document summarizes the findings from a comprehensive, third-party investigation of allegations of sexual misconduct made against members of the Crosier Fathers and Brothers Province. It also describes the actions taken by the Crosier Province in response to these findings.
In June 2002 the Crosier Fathers and Brothers Province hired the Minnesota-based law firm Faegre & Benson, LLP, to conduct an audit of past and present sexual misconduct allegations involving members of the Crosier Order—even in cases where an initial investigation found no wrongdoing. Faegre & Benson was instructed to conduct a thorough and complete investigation, examining documents and files and interviewing individuals with knowledge of the allegations. The investigation was completed in October 2002. For more information, see How We Investigated.
The investigation identified eight members of the Crosier Order named in credible claims of sexual abuse of a minor. As mandated by the Crosier Province's sexual misconduct policy, these Crosiers are living under the following restrictions:
• They have been permanently removed from public ministry.
• They cannot perform any work with minors, including volunteer work.
• They cannot be in the presence of a minor without adult supervision.
• They cannot leave the grounds of a Crosier community without the knowledge of their Crosier superior.
Some of these Crosiers have additional restrictions, based on their individual circumstances. Others must participate in ongoing psychological, spiritual, and behavioral recovery programs.
• While new victims and new incidents surfaced during the course of the investigation, no new perpetrators of sexual abuse of minors were discovered.
• The most recent incident of sexual abuse of a minor that has been reported occurred more than 25 years ago.
• There have been no reported incidents of sexual abuse of a minor by a Crosier after he has been placed on restriction.
• Five of the eight Crosiers on restriction for sexual abuse of a minor had been removed from public ministry prior to the beginning of the investigation. The remaining three of these Crosiers were removed from public ministry during the course of the investigation.
As promised at the launch of the investigation, the Crosiers have taken every action warranted by its findings. In addition to removing offenders from public ministry and placing them under stringent restrictions, the Crosiers have taken many additional steps to ensure accountability and the safety of the people the Order serves.
Strengthened Sexual Misconduct Policy
As a result of the investigation, the Crosiers have adopted a strengthened sexual misconduct policy, based upon the principles in the statement adopted by the Conference of Major Superiors of Men regarding sexual abuse of minors. The intent of the policy is to ensure the Crosiers are doing all they can to protect the people they serve and earn the trust of the public. The policy:
• Requires—as does the Bishops' Charter—the removal from public ministry anyone who has been found to have committed sexual abuse of a minor;
• Authorizes the Prior Provincial to impose other restrictions, including initiating procedures for removal from the Order;
• Mandates the notification of civil authorities if there is suspicion that a child or vulnerable adult has been abused;
• Authorizes the Prior Provincial to create an advisory panel, which will review investigation results and assist the Prior Provincial in making decisions about an offender;
• Directs the Crosiers to conduct background investigations on those seeking membership in the Order;
• Provides ongoing education about sexual health and sexual misconduct to members, employees, and volunteers;
• Requires disclosure of incidents of sexual misconduct; and
• Defines clear procedures for dealing with a victim and the accused when an allegation is received.
To further ensure accountability, the Crosiers have taken the following additional steps.
• The Personnel and Review Committee, which is responsible for the housing and ministry assignments of all Crosiers, was expanded to include non-Crosiers who have expertise in fields including psychology, sociology, and law. The committee will also review and evaluate the results of all investigations of sexual misconduct and provide advice to the Prior Provincial.
• The Crosiers created a First Contact Team, comprised of men and women, clergy and lay persons, who will receive reports of sexual misconduct from victims.
• The Crosiers will continue to work with the dioceses in the areas where we are located to discuss how we can ensure further accountability.
The methodology used in the investigation is described in a report from Faegre & Benson, LLP, the Minnesota-based law firm hired to conduct the audit. That report is available in another location on this Web site. Click here to see that report.