UPDATE:: An interesting take on the situation from Jennifer Haselberger, a 'canon lawyer who served as the Chancellor for Canonical Affairs in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis until April of 2013, when she resigned in protest of the Archdiocese's handling of sexual misconduct by clergy."This is the same jack-wad who was able to collect disabilty for being a pedophile, "In July 2006, Gustafson was declared “disabled” based on his pedophilia, the church said. This allowed him to collect disability checks on top of his earnings as a leadership consultant."
By allowing Gustafson (and others) to remain a priest, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis both symbolically and legally accepted ongoing responsibility for him and for his actions. As such, Tuesday's disclosure that Gustafson has formed a non-profit with the goal of 'helping' victims of sexual abuse by clergy demonstrates that once again the Archdiocese has failed to honor its commitments. As a priest, Gustafson is prohibited from raising funds without the permission of his ordinary (canon 1265, 1), he is not to speak on the radio or on TV on matters pertaining to Catholic faith or morals without the permission of his ordinary (canon 831,2), and most importantly there is no way that a man who is being supervised as part of the Archdiocese's 'state-of-the-art monitoring program' should have had the opportunity to interact with victims of sexual abuse.
The Archdiocese made a decision in 2002, 2005, and again in 2008 that it would accept ongoing responsibility for Gustafson. Therefore, it is the Archdiocese's responsibility to see that his actions and conduct are circumscribed to the extent required by his current status in the Catholic Church. Clearly, they have not done this. It is time for them to begin.
The Rev. Gilbert Gustafson, a priest convicted of child sex abuse, is behind a new effort to raise money to buy the headquarters of the Twin Cities archdiocese and turn it into a healing center for abuse survivors.Convicted priest wants to buy St. Paul chancery, aid sex abuse victims | Minnesota Public Radio News
The website for the nonprofit Gilead Project, which seeks to raise money online, does not mention the priest's criminal conviction or acknowledge any abuse allegations against Gustafson. It also does not indicate that he is a priest.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis wants to sell the nearly 60,000 square-foot chancery property across the street from the Cathedral of St. Paul to pay creditors in bankruptcy. The archdiocese's realtor has listed the price as "negotiable."
The pair are basing the plan on a model of restorative justice but they admit there's nothing like this out there where priests who've abused kids would be inside a building with people who've been abused.
David Clohessy, who heads the national Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, says he has never heard of anything like it, either.
"I think it's the height of arrogance for a child molesting cleric to say, 'I sexually assaulted kids but I can help sexually assaulted people heal from this,'" he said.