No 'glorious summer' after our 'winter of discontent': Archbishop Hebda named Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
In announcements sent out early this morning, temporary administrator Bernard Hebda informed the priests and faithful of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis that he has been given the job of Archbishop permanently. The decision of the Holy Father was made while the Archdiocese continues its meanderings through bankruptcy, while the Archdiocese is battling criminal charges against it as a corporation, and in the wake of several concerning decisions by Hebda including his failure to prevent Archbishop Nienstedt from assuming a ministerial position at a parish in Michigan, the delayed removal of a priest under investigation for possible possession of child pornography, his decision to return Reverend Paul Moudry to ministry, and his being caught off guard when criminal charges were filed against the Franciscans.
Here is Archbishop Hebda's statement to priests:
Please pray for me as I prepare to begin my service as the next Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. I am humbled by the Holy Father’s confidence in me and pray that I will be able to be a shepherd who imitates the One who “came to serve rather than to be served,” as we will remember at this evening’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper. I particularly hope and pray that I as bishop will be able to be the “father, brother and friend” that Saint John Paul envisioned in Pastores Gregis
I am aware that there is still much work to be done to overcome the daunting challenges before us but I find great hope in the Sacred Triduum that we begin this day, which reminds us that we have a God who can bring Easter victory even out of the ignominy of the cross. As our Archdiocese patron, St. Paul, wrote to the Philippians, we can truly do all things through Christ who gives us strength.
I find great comfort as well in knowing that there are already so many extraordinary laborers in this vineyard. It will be an honor to serve with Bishop Andrew Cozzens and with you. In the course of these past nine months, I have already been privileged to witness your deep faith and commitment to Christ’s Church, His people, and the Eucharist. I find that inspiring.
As I prepare to begin this new ministry, I will be counting more than ever on your prayers and support. I pledge my best efforts in return and promise as well my prayers for you. May the Lord of the Harvest bring fruit to our common labors.
Fraternally in Christ,
The Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda
Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis sent out the following announcements today.
This morning it was announced that Father Anthony M. Criscitelli, currently pastor of Saint Bridget in Minneapolis, has been charged in Pennsylvania with endangering the welfare of children and criminal conspiracy for his actions while serving as minister provincial of the Franciscan Friars, Third Order Regulars.
Father Giles Schinelli, who served at St Gerard in Brooklyn Park until2010, was also charged.
For a report on the charges and the reasons for them, please follow this link.
On March 9, 2016, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis announced that Archbishop Hebda has decided that Reverend Paul Moudry could be returned to ministry. Apparently, Archbishop Hebda is currently considering an assignment for him (see below, or here).
I am truly speechless. If you are wondering why, please refer to my affidavit in the Doe 1 case.
Statement on Return to Ministry of Rev. Paul Moudry
Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Source: Tom Halden, Director of Communications
From Archbishop Bernard Hebda
Rev. Paul Moudry was ordained in 1987. In November 2013, he took a voluntary leave of absence from priestly ministry.
While Father Moudry was on leave, an investigation of an anonymous allegation of misconduct was conducted. During the investigation, Father Moudry self-reported that he engaged in inappropriate conduct with adults in the 1970s and 1980s. That conduct did not involve minors and was not illegal. Father Moudry cooperated during the investigation and the subsequent review process.
After examining Father’s file, reviewing the investigation and interviewing Father Moudry, the Ministerial Review Board recommended that Father Moudry be permitted to return to ministry. The Director of Ministerial Standards concurred with the board’s recommendation. I accepted those recommendations and am now considering an assignment.
Jennifer Haselberger is a canon lawyer who served as the Chancellor for Canonical Affairs in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis until April of 2013, when she resigned in protest of the Archdiocese's handling of sexual misconduct by clergy.