Safety Plans

  • The Abbey contracted with Project Pathfinder in Saint Paul, an organization skilled in assessing an individual's risk of re-offending. In addition, this assessment led to the development of individual Safety Plans for each monk who has sexually abused that includes supervision and regular meetings with a supervisor. These Safety Plans are reviewed annually by external professionals and an independent, external Review Board.

  • Monks who are living with a Safety Plan do so voluntarily as a condition for remaining a monk of Saint John's Abbey. These Safety Plans are not court-ordered.

  • As part of an individual Safety Plan, an ordained monk who has sexually abused a minor cannot officiate at Mass or any sacrament in public. He may not preach, teach, or associate with students, staff, or parishioners in a ministerial relationship. This restriction on ministry also applies to non-ordained monks.

  • Monks with a Safety Plan may not have social relationships or individual contact with vulnerable persons of any age on the Saint John's campus or off-campus, in any setting.

  • Monks who are living with a Safety Plan are generally free to move about the campus with appropriate restrictions, including prohibition from areas and situations that might foster social interaction with minors. Monks with Safety Plans are free to use the library, the bookstore and to walk the roads and byways on the campus.

  • Monks with a Safety Plan are generally allowed unescorted trips off campus, provided they inform their supervisor of their destination and return time. The supervisor has the authority to deny such a request. As a result, a monk with a Safety Plan could visit family or friends away from the campus, go for a medical appointment, or conduct other business. Monks with a Safety Plan are allowed to eat with friends and/or family members in the student dining room.

  • Most Saint John's monks on a Safety Plan are engaged in one or the other of ongoing therapy, spiritual direction, and group work, for the sake of their emotional and spiritual health.

In conclusion,

  • The Abbey has worked with external professionals for risk assessment, for the creation and ongoing review of Safety Plans, and for the approval of Safety Plans. The Abbey has made a diligent and conscientious effort to supervise monks on Safety Plans.

  • The Abbey's safety program provides significantly more support and supervision of monks accused of sexual offenses than is provided for under Minnesota state law for many persons who have abused minors.

  • Saint John's takes the issue of sexual misconduct very seriously, and over many years has worked to ensure that policies and procedures on human rights are followed and enforced. Saint John's policies are clear and longstanding: we do not tolerate sexual misconduct in any form.