From Archbishop Bernard Hebda
Since learning one week ago that the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had indicted three former provincial ministers of the Province of the Immaculate Conception of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis (TOR), stemming from their supervision of a Friar in that community who had been accused of committing the sexual abuse of minors, the Archdiocese has been in consultation with the Province. Some of those discussions have focused on Rev. Bradley Baldwin, TOR, a member of that Order and pastor of the Church of Saint Gerard in Brooklyn Park.
Earlier today we were notified that Rev. Bradley Baldwin had accepted his Provincial Superior’s request that he take a leave of absence from ministry (see the following statement from Very Rev. Patrick Quinn, TOR, Minister Provincial) pending further clarification of his level of supervision concerning the Friar in question. While the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had not charged Fr. Baldwin, his name appeared in the documents of the Grand Jury investigation as having played, in a previous assignment, some intermediary role in facilitating communication between Provincial leadership and the Friar in question. It seems to us that the parameters of that role are not clear from the documentation and need to be further clarified and I have asked for a preliminary investigation to be commenced.
Father Baldwin had served in parish ministry in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis from 1994 to 2000 and then again from 2010 to present. The Archdiocese has no record of any allegations of misconduct against him and I am unaware of anything in his file that would suggest that his ministry here has been anything less than exemplary.
Until the investigation is concluded, a temporary administrator will be appointed to cover administrative duties at Saint Gerard and to assist with finding priests to help with Masses and the sacramental needs of the parish.