Statement Regarding Rev. Anthony Criscitelli, TOR

From Archbishop Bernard Hebda

Today, Rev. Anthony Criscitelli, a priest of the Franciscan Friars of the Third Order Regular (TOR) and pastor of the Church of Saint Bridget in Minneapolis, was removed from ministry in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, pending the outcome of criminal charges that were filed against him this morning in Pennsylvania.

Those actions were taken in coordination with Fr. Criscitelli’s Religious community, the Province of the Immaculate Conception of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis, upon learning that he had been indicted by the Attorney General of Pennsylvania in a case involving his Order. The precise criminal charges of “endangering the welfare of children and criminal conspiracy” are based on his supervision, as Minister Provincial of the Order of Friars Minor, Province of the Immaculate Conception, from 2002 to 2010, of a Franciscan friar from that Province, Brother Stephen Baker, TOR.

Father Criscitelli has served in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis since 1982. The Archdiocese has no record of any allegations of misconduct against him. Brother Baker’s name already appears on the Archdiocese’s website listing of those with substantiated claims of sexual abuse of a minor. He had been assigned by the Franciscans to the Church of Saint Patrick in Inver Grove Heights from 1977 to 1981.

As per our protocols, the Archdiocese will cooperate with law enforcement. A temporary administrator will be appointed to cover administrative duties and to serve in the role of pastor during the interim.