November 22, 2019 - Cardinal Seán Comments on Seminary Report

The following comments will be posted to the Cardinal's blog later this evening. For your convenience I am forwarding these to you earlier. His blog is updated on Friday evenings. Please credit CardinalSeansBlog if you use any of the following text. Thanks. 

Friday, November 22, 2019 
"Earlier today, we released the final report resulting from a more than year-long independent inquiry into St. John’s Seminary conducted by former U.S. Attorney Donald K. Stern, with the assistance of Attorney Doug Salvesen and others at the firm Yurko, Salvesen & Remz.

The seminary review has been a long and arduous process and has brought to light serious deficiencies that needed correcting. In truth, I believe we have a much stronger seminary as a result of the review and the changes that have already been made.

The report does not indicate that any illegal activities, sexual abuse or harassment have occurred, and we are relieved that the report clearly states that the problems it did find have been episodic and not systemic. Problems around the use of alcohol, clear policies concerning fraternization and how the staff should accompany our seminarians during their formation are in the process of being developed, as well as a stronger oversight role for the Board of Directors.

Unfortunately, what the report cannot communicate are all the good things that are taking place at St. John’s. There is a very high level of satisfaction among the students who are glad to be doing their formation at the seminary. This year, the archdiocese ordained 14 fine priests, the largest class in 20 years.

Even the criticism leveled against certain priests on the faculty cannot gainsay the fact that those same men have made many positive contributions to St. John’s and the life of the Church. They are faith-filled priests who have dedicated their lives to the Church, and they are beloved by the parishioners they serve and by many in the seminary community. 

There have been serious mistakes, there have been flaws, but we must not demonize anyone. At the same time, we are all very grateful to Interim Rector Father Stephen Salocks, Interim Vice Rector Father Tom Macdonald, and all of the staff and faculty whose dedication and commitment have earned them the gratitude and respect of all."

The full report is available by clicking here