Filed Photo: Father Simon teaches RCIA in 2019.                                                                                Photo by: Trace Flax

Fr. Simon Baker, OSB, and chaplain of Benedictine College, was removed from campus ministry earlier this week after Benedictine Abbey officials discovered previously established behavioral boundaries were not being followed. 

The announcement came in a press release from Benedictine College and was posted on the Abbey’s website Saturday evening. 

The release states that after Fr. Simon self-disclosed to leadership at St. Benedict’s Abbey that he had engaged in inappropriate conduct with an adult female student at the college in April, an internal review board determined that Fr. Simon had displayed inappropriate affection and favoritism toward the woman.   

Since he has been removed from campus ministry, additional reports have been received by Benedictine stating that Fr. Simon “crossed physical and emotional boundaries in pastoral relationships with other adult women.” 

These reports do not involve any minor or criminal behavior at this point.  

Benedictine College and St. Benedict’s Abbey have opened an investigation into these findings. This investigation is being headed by a third-party.  

J.D. Benning, director of communications at St. Benedict’s Abbey said the investigation into Fr. Simon’s conduct is ongoing.   

“A formal statement will be issued upon the conclusion of the investigation,” Benning said.  

Benedictine College and St. Benedict’s Abbey issued the following statement regarding this incident in the release.   

“We remain committed to creating and maintaining a safe environment for all people who interact with our clergy or religion and are involved in our ministries. We apologize to all those who have been affected by Fr. Simon’s inappropriate behavior.” 

At this time, Fr. Simon is prohibited from being present on campus until the conclusion of the investigation. 

The release also asked for anyone with information or who may have been affected and would like support to contact the victim’s advocate number at 913-426-5769. 

For the full statement from St. Benedict’s Abbey click here. 

Stay tuned to The Circuit for more information as it develops.