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St. Benedict’s Abbey priest removed from ministry, accused of ‘inappropriate conduct’

A St. Benedict’s Abbey priest, who also serves as chaplain at Benedictine College, has been suspended from ministry after he was accused of “inappropriate conduct” with women including students.

Posted: May 18, 2021 1:13 PM
Updated: May 19, 2021 10:50 AM

(ATCHISON, Kan.) A St. Benedict’s Abbey priest, who also serves as chaplain at Benedictine College, has been suspended from ministry after he was accused of “inappropriate conduct” with women including students.

Fr. Simon Baker, who was a priest at St. Benedict’s Abbey and a chaplain at Benedictine College in Atchison, was removed from ministry last week, according to a news release posted on the college and monastery’s website Saturday.

An issue first came to Abbey leadership last month when Baker self-reported that he had been involved with a student at Benedictine College, the news release said. After an investigation, an internal review board recommended boundaries placed on Baker, and counseling offered to the student.

According to the release, the Abbey learned last week that Baker was not complying with the boundaries outlined by the board and was then removed from the ministry. Following his removal, the College has received additional allegations that Baker crossed boundaries with other adult women.

A third-party is beginning an investigation into the allegations but, the Abbey said, at this point, none of the allegations involve criminal behavior or minors. Baker is not allowed on campus during the course of the investigation, the release said.

“We apologize to all those who have been affected by Fr. Simon’s inappropriate behavior,” the release said.

Benedictine College and St. Benedict’s Abbey have asked individuals with information related to the investigation to call the victim’s advocate at 913-426-5769.

Allegations of crime can also be reported to the Atchison Police Department at 913-367-4323 or the Atchison County Sheriff’s office at 913-804-6080.

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