Statement: Priest Returns to Ministry

This past weekend, Father David Barrett returned to public ministry at Masses at the parish of St. Wenceslaus in New Prague after a five-month leave of absence related to past sexual misconduct. Father Barrett’s return to ministry as an assistant parish priest follows careful review by the Ministerial Standards Board of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. This board is made up primarily of lay professionals. This review involved an extensive interview with Father Barrett, reports from a licensed psychologist and Kinsale, a team of independent experts who reviewed his personnel file, and reports and letters from supervisors and others who have worked closely with Father Barrett.

Father Barrett voluntarily took a leave of absence last November so that his past sexual misconduct, which took place more than a decade ago and did not involve minors, could again be reviewed. Father Barrett was returned to ministry in 2005 following review at that time regarding the same misconduct.

Father Barrett returns to ministry with some conditions, including continued monitoring by a representative of the archdiocese, continued ongoing medical treatment and therapy as determined to be necessary by a medical professional, living in community with at least one other priest to avoid social isolation, and appropriate disclosure of his past misconduct to the pastor, trustees, and parishioners of the parish he returns to serve.