The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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State, national news

December 29, 2013

Two priests on leave pending review

MINNEAPOLIS — The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said Sunday that two parish priests are taking leaves of absence as a result of an ongoing review of clergy files.

The Rev. Joseph Gallatin, pastor at the Church of St. Peter in Mendota, and the Rev. Mark Wehmann, pastor at St. Boniface in Minneapolis, will remain pastors of their parishes but they won’t perform any public ministry until a final review is finished, the archdiocese said.

Gallatin did not immediately return voicemail or email messages left Sunday. Wehmann didn’t immediately return a message left at the parish office. Neither an email address nor personal phone number for Wehmann could be found.

Amid mounting criticism over the way church leaders handled allegations of clergy sexual misconduct, Archbishop John Nienstedt in November hired a consulting firm to begin reviewing the files of all clergy in active ministry.

The archdiocese said Sunday that as part of this review, Kinsale found Gallatin was accused of one incident of inappropriate conduct with a minor many years ago involving what the church called a “boundary violation.” The archdiocese did not elaborate or explain in its release what it considered to be a boundary violation.

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