Richfield pastor accused of sexually abusing child in 1970s

A pastor at the Church of St. Peter in Richfield, Minn. has taken a leave of absence after the archdiocese received a credible report of sexual abuse dating back to the 1970s. Rev. Gerald Dvorak issued a statement denying the allegation.

"I pray for all victims of sexual abuse, but I have never abused anyone," Rev. Dvorak said. "Please pray for me and all those involved."

In a letter to the St. Peter's congregation, Deacon Mark Johanns said "the news comes as an enormous shock to all of us," and that the allegation against Father Dvorak is the only one in his 37 years of ministry.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will assign an interim priest to help St. Peter's continue day-to-day operations.

READ MORE – St. Peter's letter to parishioners

Statement from Archbishop John Nienstedt

"The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis has received a credible allegation that the Rev. Gerald Dvorak, Pastor of St. Peter's in Richfield, sexually abused a minor in the 1970's. A ‘credible allegation' is one that is ‘not manifestly false or frivolous.' It is not a presumption of guilt. Law enforcement has been notified and, per our protocol, Rev. Dvorak is on a leave of absence and will not exercise priestly ministry during the investigation. We are in the process of notifying the previous parishes where he was assigned. Rev. Dvorak has never had any other allegation against him during his ministry."

Rev. Dvorak's career timeline

Pastor, Saint Peter, Richfield, 07/01/2011 -

Canonical Administrator, Blessed Trinity Catholic School, 07/01/2011 - 07/01/2014

Pastor, Saint Joseph, Hopkins, 09/03/2002 - 07/01/2011

Pastor, Saint Michael, Saint Paul, 06/14/1989 - 09/03/2002

Parochial Administrator, Saint Andrew, St. Paul, 01/20/1989 - 06/14/1989

Parochial Administrator, Holy Cross, Minneapolis, 10/09/1987 - 06/14/1989

Spiritual Director, Legion of Mary, St Paul Comitium, North Mpls Curia, 03/23/1987 - 06/14/1989

Parochial Administrator, Saint Cyril, Minneapolis, 06/10/1986 - 03/23/1987

Assistant Priest, Holy Cross, Minneapolis, 06/12/1984 - 06/14/1989

Assistant Priest, Cathedral of Saint Paul, 06/13/1979 - 06/12/1984

Teaching Parish Seminarian, Saint Matthew, Saint Paul, 1978 – 1979

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