Diocese of Duluth: Victim Assistance Information

Reporting Sexual Abuse by a Priest, Deacon or a Staff Member or Volunteer

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual misconduct by a volunteer, an employee or a member of the clergy and you need to talk with someone about your feelings of betrayal or hurt due to this abuse, exploitation or harassment,

We urge you to:

  1. Contact civil authorities
  2. Contact the Diocese of Duluth
  3. Contact a Diocesan Assistance Coordinator

We are open to and respect your complaint.

While diocesan representatives are open to receiving your complaint, we urge you to contact civil authorities first. Both justice and compassion, however, call us as diocesan officials to respond to the harm you or someone you know has experienced from a person in a position of trust. We sincerely want to listen and address the hurt that may have occurred because of the improper exercise of pastoral care.

Please know your complaint will be heard in confidence and only those who have a right to know will be informed. Even if civil authorities are involved, your complaint may go before the Diocesan Review Board in accord with our Sexual Misconduct Policy and Code of Pastoral Conduct.

Reporting Abuse or Misconduct of a Catholic Bishop

If you suspect abuse of any kind, your first call should be to law enforcement.

The Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting service allows for individuals to relay to Church authorities any reports of a living U.S. Catholic bishop who has: forced someone to perform or to submit to sexual acts through violence, threat, or abuse of authority; performed sexual acts with a minor or a vulnerable person; produced, exhibited, possessed, or distributed child pornography, or recruited or induced a minor or a vulnerable person to participate in pornographic exhibitions; or, a diocesan bishop, or a cleric overseeing a diocese in the absence of a diocesan or eparchial bishop, who has intentionally interfered with a civil or church investigation into allegations of sexual abuse committed by another cleric or religious.

To report sexual abuse or related misconduct by a Catholic bishop, we encourage you to contact law enforcement. To report such abuse or misconduct1 to the Church, you should contact the Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting (CBAR) service. CBAR is a third-party reporting service that gathers and routes reports to the appropriate Church authorities for investigation. Individuals may go to ReportBishopAbuse.org in order to make a report in English or Spanish. Reports are also accepted via 800-276-1562 in both languages.

When a report is received, it will be forwarded to the local metropolitan archbishop who will undertake the responsibility of initially assessing the report. The Archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis is the metropolitan who presides over our province which includes the following suffragan dioceses: In Minnesota, St. Paul/Minneapolis, New Ulm, Winona/Rochester, St. Cloud, Duluth, Crookston; in North Dakota, Fargo, Bismarck; in South Dakota Sioux Falls and Rapid City. If a report is received that concerns Archbishop himself, then the report will be forwarded to the senior bishop of our local province in years of ordination.

Sexual abuse by a priest, deacon or a staff member or volunteer of the Church within the Diocese of Duluth should be reported first to law enforcement, then to the Diocese of Duluth.