Benedictine College chaplain removed after report of ‘inappropriate’ conduct with female student
ATCHISON, Kan. (WIBW) - The chaplain of Benedictine College has been removed from his position after “inappropriate conduct” with a female student, according to officials at the private Catholic college.
The announcement was made Saturday on the Benedictine College website.
According to the statement, the Rev. Simon Baker, who was serving as chaplain of Benedictine College, “self-disclosed” to St. Benedict’s Abbey leadership that he had engaged in inappropriate conduct with an adult, female student at the college.
Following his disclosure, the statement read, the abbey convened its internal review board to investigate.
The review board determined that Baker displayed “inappropriate affection and favoritism toward the woman.”
The board recommended certain boundaries be placed on Baker and that counseling and support be offered to the woman involved, the statement read.
This past week, the statement read, the abbey learned that Baker wasn’t complying with the boundaries and he was removed from ministry.
Since his removal, Benedictine College has received additional reports that Baker “crossed physical and emotional boundaries in pastoral relationships with other adult women.”
According to the statement, “these reports do not involve a minor or any alleged criminal behavior.”
Benedictine College and St. Benedict’s Abbey are commissioning a third-party investigation of these reports.
The website statement indicated that Baker is prohibited from being present on campus pending the conclusion of the investigation.
According to the statement, St. Benedict’s Abbey and Benedictine College “remain committed to creating and maintaining a safe environment for all people who interact with our clergy or religious and are involved in our ministries. We apologize to all those who have been affected by Fr. Simon’s inappropriate behavior.”
Anyone with information may call the Benedictine College victim’s advocate at 913-426-5769.
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