NEW ULM, Minn. – Fr. Bernard Steiner has returned to limited ministry based on the recommendation of the independent Diocesan Review Board following a completed investigation by police that found no substantial credible evidence to support the abuse allegation made against him.
Fr. Steiner is allowed to concelebrate Mass and administer the Anointing of the Sick in the presence of other members of the clergy.
Fr. Steiner was ordained in February 1961 for the Diocese of New Ulm. He retired from assigned parish ministry in 2005. For the following 11 years, he celebrated Mass and administered the sacraments at area parishes and at Our Lady of Good Counsel for the School Sisters of Notre Dame in Mankato. In 2016, the Diocese of New Ulm removed him from all public ministry following notification of a civil claim made against him stemming from his time as pastor at the Church of St. Paul in Comfrey in the 1970s. His removal from ministry was publicized in 2016. No other claimants have come forward with reports against him.
It is standard procedure for the Diocese of New Ulm to remove a member of the clergy from ministry if an allegation has been made against him. The Diocese of New Ulm takes all allegations against clergy very seriously and continues to ask that anyone with information about sexual misconduct by clergy report it to law enforcement. In addition, anyone who has suffered sexual abuse by clergy is encouraged to contact the diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator at 507-233-5313 for counseling or other assistance in healing.
Bishop John M. LeVoir requests prayers for both Fr. Steiner and the individual who made the claim against him.