Friday, August 28, 2015

Say it ain't so

News you don't want to read about your pastor:
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has put a Roseville priest on leave after receiving what it is calling a credible allegation that he sexually abused a minor in the 1980s.

The Rev. Robert Fitzpatrick is pastor at Corpus Christi parish and St. Rose of Lima parish and school.

Interim Archbishop Bernard Hebda announced the decision on Thursday and says police have been notified.
We are parishioners at St. Rose of Lima -- we joined the parish earlier this year after we'd grown disenchanted with our previous parish. I can't say that I know Fr. Fitzpatrick well, but we really like him and the other priests at St. Rose. I had no inkling that he might have trouble in his past. Fr. Fitzpatrick is pastor at both parishes because, frankly, there aren't enough priests to go around these days. Corpus Christi is significantly smaller than St. Rose and probably not large enough to have a pastor, especially now, but it's also a vibrant community.

Father Fitz and the Archbishop

Fr. Fitzpatrick had invited Archbishop Hebda to come to St. Rose for the upcoming 75th annivesary celebration of the parish school. Hebda was unavailable that day, but he came to St. Rose earlier this month -- the picture I've posted is from the parish website. St. Rose was the first parish that Hebda has visited since he became the interim archbishop. Now, less than a month after he came to St. Rose, he has to take action against Fr. Fitzpatrick.

It's going to take a while for me to process this information. It's possible that the allegation, while credible, may turn out to be false. I hope it is. We are all sinners in need of God's forgiveness, which is why this scandal is so deleterious. I understand that the Church is much, much larger than any individual priest, but it has to rely on its priests to survive. And with every revelation of misconduct, people are drawn away from God, just when we need Him the most.


W.B. Picklesworth said...

Ouch. That hurts.

Mr. D said...

It does. The timing is strange, though, since the Archbishop was at St. Rose just a few weeks ago.

MG⛪📑👼 said...

I knew Fr. Fitz from when he was a pastor at St. Johns in Little Canada. Mater of fact there was a group of us that became good friends with him and did things as a group and had a lot of fun together. My Ex-husband and I go to know him very well. When I heard about this aligation against him I couldn't believe it. I really believe he did not do what he is accused of. I wish there was something I could do to help him in return for all the help and support he had given me and my ex-husband over the years. Right now I pray everyday that he is cleared of all of this and he can go back to what he does best and that is being a priest.

Anonymous said...

MG, unfortunately even if he's cleared more than likely some people are going to remember the accusation and not the clearance, so his reputation may be ruined. I've known Fitz since I was a little kid, before he became a priest (he's a friend of the family) and I'm pretty darn shocked at the accusation. He's the one priest I thought would never get caught up in this scandal.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Fitzpatrick was reinstated as of 3/17/16. The police could not find any evidence of misconduct along with the Ministerial Standards Board of the Archdiocese, led by former Judge Tim O'Malley. The allegation was determined to be unfounded so Archbishop Hebda has reinstated Fr. Fitzpatrick.

Canaries said...

I knew Father Fitzpatrick for many years, and loved him. He was a fun man to be around. He is truly a Man of God! C.F.