Catholic Priest who Abused in North Dakota Still on the Job in Nigeria, SNAP Calls for Swift Action
For immediate release: March 9, 2022
A Catholic priest who spent time in the Diocese of Fargo and was accused of abuse while working there is still on the job in his home diocese in Nigeria. Now, we are calling on Church officials in Fargo, Minnesota, Boston, and the Military Services to use every resource at their disposal to prevent this dangerous cleric from working around children.
Fr. Luke U. Odor not only worked in the Fargo Diocese, he was also assigned to multiple locations in Minnesota in the 1990s, including the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Crookston. He later worked under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Boston and the Archdiocese for Military Services before his faculties were suspended in 2012 while “personal conduct matters” were investigated.
Despite that suspension and Fr. Odor being named as an abuser by Fargo, St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Crookston, the priest appears to still be working as a clergyman. He is listed as the Episcopal Vicar of the St. Anthony’s Vicariate in the Diocese of Aba, Nigeria.
To us, this looks like a clear case of child sexual abuse being committed here in the U.S. and the perpetrator quietly being sent back to his home country where he could potentially groom and even harm other innocents. As best as we can tell, no public notice was made by Catholic officials at any of the locations Fr. Odor worked in the U.S. when the cleric was sent back to Nigeria. We do not see the transparency promised in the Dallas Charter in this case: Fr. Odor’s situation and the details of the accusations against him are almost entirely opaque. What is crystal clear, however, is that a man who had the allegations of child sexual abuse against him “substantiated” by the Diocese of Fargo is now in an even higher position in his home diocese.
We believe that something must be done to protect the children in the Diocese of Aba. We call on Bishop John T. Folda, Archbishop Bernard Hebda, Bishop Andrew Cozzens, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, and Archbishop Timothy Broglio to use their collective power, as well as any documents concerning abuse allegations made against Fr. Odor that may be in their possession, to ensure that parishioners and the public in Aba are made aware of the priest’s history. Fr. Odor needs to be removed from a position of power immediately so that he cannot hurt anyone else.
Fr. Odor never should have been quietly sent back home, but since he was, it is now up to these Catholic hierarchs to make noise regarding his current assignment and the danger posed by it.
CONTACT: Michael McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected], 267-261-0578 ), Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Survivor Support Coordinator ([email protected], 925-708-6175), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)