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Frequently Asked Questions

Revised Oct. 1, 2019

1. Why did the Crosiers commission a third-party investigation of its files?

We commissioned the law firm of Faegre & Benson to investigate every allegation of sexual abuse we have on file—even in cases where an initial investigation found no wrongdoing. We took this step to guarantee we had complete and accurate information on which we could take action if necessary. Ultimately, conducting the investigation is part of our commitment to accountability, ensuring the safety of the people we serve and doing all that we can to earn the trust of the public.

2. How many Crosiers are under restriction today?

There are four Crosiers living under restriction for sexual abuse of a minor. Five of the eight Crosiers identified in the 2002 investigation have died or left the Order since the investigation was completed.

3. Why are you not removing those who have committed sexual abuse of a minor from your Order?

As a religious order, we have made a lifetime commitment to support our members' physical and spiritual well-being. However, those who have committed sexual abuse of a minor have been removed from public ministry and are living under stringent restrictions. If the individual Crosier does not comply with the restrictions placed on him, or is not following his recovery program, we may begin proceedings to remove him from the Order. In addition to restrictions, we have many processes in place to ensure the safety of those we serve and the people near our communities. There have been no reported incidents of sexual abuse of a minor by a Crosier after he has been placed under restrictions.

4. What are the restrictions placed on those who have committed sexual abuse of a minor?

As mandated by our sexual abuse policy, those on restriction have

  • been permanently removed from public ministry;
  • cannot perform any work with minors, including volunteer work;
  • cannot be in the presence of a minor without adult supervision

In addition, some of these individuals may not leave a Crosier facility unaccompanied and some may participate in ongoing psychological, spiritual and behavioral therapy programs.

5. When was the most recent case of sexual abuse in the Crosier Order?

The most recent incident of sexual abuse with a minor reported to the Crosiers occurred more than 35 years ago.

6. What other steps have the Crosiers taken to ensure public accountability and the safety of the people the Order serves?

Our commitments to ensuring the safety of the people we serve and being accountable to the public do not end with the completion of Faegre & Benson's investigation. In addition to the investigation, we have also taken the following additional steps.

The Personnel and Review Committee, which is responsible for the housing and ministry assignments of all Crosiers, includes non-Crosiers who have expertise in fields including psychology, sociology, and law. The committee reviews and evaluates the results of all investigations of sexual abuse and provides advice to the conventual prior.

We have created a First Contact Team comprised of men and women, clergy and lay persons, who can receive reports of sexual abuse from victims.

We continue to work with the dioceses in the areas where we are located to discuss how we can ensure further accountability.

7. Does the Crosiers' newly updated sexual abuse policy comply with the Bishops' Charter?

Like the Bishops' Charter, our strengthened sexual abuse policy requires the conventual prior to remove from public ministry anyone who has been found to have committed sexual abuse of a minor. In addition, it includes the following provisions:

  • Authorizes the conventual prior 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 conventual prior to create an advisory panel, which will review investigation results and assist the conventual prior 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 abuse to members, employees, and volunteers.
  • Requires disclosure of incidents of sexual abuse.
  • Defines clear procedures for dealing with a victim and the accused when an allegation is received.

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