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Two MN Priests on Voluntary Leaves of Absence - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Two MN Priests on Voluntary Leaves of Absence

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(KARE 11) ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis announced late Sunday that two priests have decided to take leaves of absence for "prior misconduct." The priests are the Rev. David Barrett, assistant pastor at the Church of St. Wenceslaus in New Prague, and the Rev. Paul Moudry, pastor of St. Margaret Mary in Golden Valley.

In separate statements posted to its website late Sunday, the archdiocese said the priests volunteered to take leaves of absence. The archdiocese did not explain why both priests reached this decision at the same time.

In the statement regarding Barrett, the archdiocese said, "The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis announced today that after careful discernment and much prayer in conjunction with the Archdiocese, Father David Barrett has chosen to take a voluntary leave of absence. His decision is as a result of prior misconduct which occurred many years ago and did not involve members of any parish in which Fr. Barrett has served. This misconduct did not involve a violation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People."

Barrett "has been under supervision by pastoral leadership and others at the Archdiocese and has undergone counseling during his current and prior assignments," the statement said.

In the statement regarding Moudry, the archdiocese said, "The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis announced today that after much prayer and reflection and in conjunction with the Archdiocese, Father Paul Moudry has chosen to take a voluntary leave of absence. His decision is as a result of prior misconduct which occurred many years ago and did not involve members of any parish in which Fr. Moudry has served. This misconduct did not involve a violation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People."

While on leave, Moudry and Barrett will not engage in any public ministry, according to the statements.

An archdiocese board will review the priests' "actions" and make recommendations, the statements said. The archdiocese did not elaborate on the recommendations or what they might include.

A spokesperson for the archdiocese declined to comment.

The Rev. Mark Huberty took a leave of absence in September following an allegation that he inappropriately touched a female parishioner of the Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Maplewood. Police are investigating the allegation.

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