Priest on leave following alleged confession violation

.- A Catholic priest in Wisconsin was placed on administrative leave while the Archdiocese of Milwaukee investigates a claim that he violated the seal of confession.

The Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported on Tuesday that Fr. David Verhasselt was removed from his pastoral duties at St. Catherine of Alexandria Church in the town Oconomowoc, Wisconsin by Archbishop Jerome Listecki on Monday. The archdiocese's tribunal is currently conducting a preliminary investigation.

CNA contacted the Archdiocese of Milwaukee for more information on the details of the case and received a general statement from Archbishop Listecki.

“Every priest has a most serious obligation to maintain absolute confidentiality regarding what is confessed to him in the Sacrament of Reconciliation,” wrote the archbishop on April 14. “A sacred trust is established between a priest and a penitent and the integrity of the Sacrament relies upon this trust.”

“This 'seal of confession' is so absolute that any allegation about its violation is taken very seriously and a complete investigation is required by Church law,” he added.  

“During this investigation we support and care for Father Verhasselt, while making sure the teaching and laws of the Church are respected and obeyed. Most importantly, we want to extend our pastoral care to the people of St. Catherine’s Parish during this difficult time,” Archbishop Listecki's statement concluded.

Deacon David Zimprich of St. Catherine’s, who is filling in as much as possible until an interim priest is appointed, said on Tuesday that parishioners are distressed.

“He's their shepherd, they love him,” Deacon Zimprich told the Journal Sentinel. “All we can tell people to do is to keep him in their prayers, and that maybe it didn't happen. Maybe it was just a misunderstanding.”

Fr. Verhasselt, 62, was ordained a priest in 1989 and was named pastor at St. Catherine’s in 2000.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?

Liturgical Calendar

July 24, 2014

Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:10-17


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 2: 1-3, 7-8, 12-13
Gospel:: Mt 13: 10-17

Saint of the Day

St. Charbel Makhlouf »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:10-17


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: