From Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda
In January 2018, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis was notified of allegations that Reverend Thomas Joseph engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with an adult. We immediately alerted the Carver County Sheriff’s Office of the allegations and they initiated a criminal investigation. Reverend Joseph was removed from active ministry. In May 2018, the Carver County Attorney’s Office notified us in that it had reviewed the criminal investigation and was declining to bring criminal charges in the case.
Following the County Attorney’s decision, the Archdiocese’s Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment began its internal investigative and review process, which is standard for any clergy member accused of misconduct. Father Joseph remained out of ministry during this process.
The Archdiocese’s Ministerial Review Board (MRB) considered the results of the criminal investigation and the internal process. Reverend Joseph appeared before the MRB and was afforded the opportunity to provide testimony and information. After deliberating, the MRB recommended to Director Tim O’Malley and Archbishop Hebda that Reverend Joseph is not fit to return to ministry. Director O’Malley and Archbishop Hebda accepted the recommendation and notified Reverend Joseph. The case will now proceed through a canonical penal process for a final determination as required by Church law. Reverend Joseph has denied any wrongdoing and will continue to be afforded due process as the final determination regarding his status is made.
Reverend Joseph remains out of ministry. For the duration of the penal process, he 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. Reverend Joseph is not permitted to wear a collar or present himself as a priest publicly.