Archdiocese investigates former official’s oversight of abusive priests

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis announced Thursday that it has completed an "exhaustive review" into clergy abuse oversight by the Rev. Kevin McDonough, concluding the former vicar general "failed, albeit not intentionally, to adequately keep children safe."

As a result of the investigation, the archdiocese has deemed McDonough "fit for ministry'' but will bar him from holding leadership positions involving protection of children. He will be allowed to continue his work as pastor of Incarnation Church in south Minneapolis.

The investigation found that McDonough "had not always demonstrated sufficiently sound judgment in handling allegations of ministerial misconduct or in attending to his duties to prevent harm and create safer environments."

Investigators conluded that while McDonough "did not intend for harm to occur," it did occur, according to a statement from Tim O'Malley, director of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment for the archdiocese.

McDonough was the archdiocesan point person on clergy sexual misconduct for nearly 20 years, responsible for investigating reports of misconduct and providing services to victims. He has not been accused of abuse, but rather of mishandling cases of known child sex abusers who went on to abuse other children.

Archdiocesan officials long have received inquiries about McDonough's role in the clergy abuse crisis, said O'Malley.