From Archbishop Bernard Hebda
Today, I have the sad responsibility of communicating that Rev. Mark Huberty has been temporarily removed from ministry for the duration of a formal canonical process that has been initiated to address some serious allegations that have come to the attention of the Archdiocese.
In 2013, Rev. Huberty was arrested and charged with two counts of sexual misconduct with an adult woman. Rev. Huberty has been on a voluntary leave of absence since that time. A Ramsey County jury acquitted him of those charges last December.
During the criminal investigation and court process, the Archdiocese cooperated with civil authorities and did not conduct its own review to preserve the integrity of the police investigation and the fairness of the court proceedings—which is our protocol.
Since the acquittal, Rev. Huberty’s case, which does not involve sexual abuse of a minor, has been investigated by the Archdiocese’s Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment, and that investigation has been reviewed by its director, Judge Tim O’Malley, and the recently-formed Ministerial Review Board (MRB). The MRB consists of ten lay members and two priests, who have expertise in sexual abuse, domestic violence, psychology, medicine, criminal justice, law enforcement, and related fields.
The MRB found that there was sufficient evidence to suggest Rev. Huberty may have committed a serious offense under canon law and recommended that any questions of law or fact be resolved through a canonical process so that the truth of the matter may be determined and an appropriate penalty, if any, may be imposed. Judge O’Malley was present for all MRB deliberations, reviewed the case, and has agreed with the Board’s recommendation.
Removing a priest from ministry, even temporarily, is gravely serious to me and to the Church. But based on the evidence and testimony from those involved, this is the proper course of action. During the canonical process, Rev. Huberty is prohibited from celebrating Mass in the presence of laity, hearing confessions, preaching, assisting at weddings or funerals or otherwise engaging in any priestly ministry. He is not permitted to wear a Roman collar or present himself as a priest publicly. Imposition of these precautionary measures reflects the seriousness of this matter, but should not be viewed as a presumption of guilt. Rev. Huberty is to be accorded the presumption of innocence during this time.
*Update: As of May 18, 2017, Mark Huberty is no longer a priest and is no longer engaged in ministry.