MN – Accused priest reinstated, SNAP responds

For immediate release Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Statement by Melanie Sakoda of California, Volunteer Member of SNAP’s Board of Directors (925-708-6175[email protected])

On December 26, 2017, the Diocese of Crookston announced that it was reinstating a priest, Father Patrick Sullivan, who was placed on administrative leave in early 2016. A lawsuit was filed at that time alleging the clergyman had abused a 15 year old boy in 2008. No criminal charges have been filed against the priest. The clergyman has denied the allegations, and the diocese has stated that no other allegations have been made against him. Following an internal investigation, the diocese found the allegations were not credible.  The suit is still pending.

We here at SNAP, the Survivors Network, are concerned that the priest has been reinstated prematurely. The attorneys for the accuser have alleged that documentation discovered during the course of the suit shows that Bishop Michael Hoeppner “received information that showed that Fr. Sullivan posed a serious risk of harm.”

While we have no firsthand information about this case, we do know that statistically speaking the vast majority of those who come forward accusing a clergyman of childhood sexual abuse are telling the truth. We also know from experience that Catholic bishops do not always give complete information about offending priests, even to those who work for them.

We encourage anyone who has information about these allegations to speak out, file lawsuits, and report criminal behavior to the police. We also hope that they will reach out to groups like ours, for support and help.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 members. Our website is


Melanie Sakoda (925-708-6175[email protected]), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434[email protected]), or Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Executive Director (314-503-0003[email protected])

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  • Bill Reidy
    commented 2017-12-30 11:24:01 -0600
    Haven’t the bishops & cardinals know that putting abusive priests back in the churches or even moving them around is what Cardinal Law did before. Abusive priests are just going to keep abusing until SNAP cleans house.

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