A Provincial Update on the Rivera Case in the Diocese of the Upper Midwest
A team appointed by the Archbishop has been working hard to facilitate the formation of the Provincial Response Team, help the Diocese of the Upper Midwest move forward in operation and ministry, and set up a diocesan structure review team. Below are some updates on each of these areas:
- Regarding the formation of the Provincial Response Team: A number of candidates from across the Province who could potentially serve on the team have gone through an initial round of interviews. The team of women and men will include a trauma counselor and victims’ Candidates are in the final phase of a process with a third-party professional who is conducting interviews and screening for possible conflicts of interest. No one on the team will be an active member or clergy person in the Diocese of the Upper Midwest. We expect that the members of the Team will be announced publicly next week after this process is complete and the Team is approved by the Executive Committee.
- Regarding the formation of the diocesan structure review team: As announced previously, the Archbishop is working with the Governance Task Force to appoint a team to review the diocese’s canonical structures. This team is being finalized and will also be announced soon.
- What has happened so far?
- Bishop Ruch and the Diocese appealed to the Province to take oversight of the investigation into the Rivera matter and the oversight of the pastoral care of survivors.
- Archbishop Beach accepted that request on behalf of the the Province.
- Bishop Ruch, Chancellor Charlie Philbrick, Deacon Val MacIntyre, and Diocesan Deans Ruch, Beasley, and Olsen have taken leaves of absence.
- The Deaneries within the Diocese met and elected Acting Deans and voted to fill open lay positions on the Bishop’s Council.
- The Bishop’s Council is meeting regularly as the ecclesiastical authority in the absence of the bishop.
- The Bishop’s Council selected its new Chair in the absence of the bishop.
- Bishop John Miller was appointed as the Acting Bishop with Bishop Todd Atkinson assisting as needed to provide episcopal ministry to the diocese.
- The Executive Committee, which is the legal board of the Province, passed and released a resolution offering care and concern for victims and took the necessary steps to approve the formation of a Provincial Response Team.
- A webpage dedicated to this matter was created and launched.
- This email signup was created for updates.
- We are grateful to the survivors who have reached out to the Province and we are engaging them in this matter.
The Province will release more information to the public as it is available. Thank you for your patience as we strive faithfully to steward this matter and walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel. Please keep everyone involved in your prayers.