‘Inappropriate conduct’ with female student leads to Benedictine College priest’s removal

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(Courtesy Photos/Cloud County Treasurer’s Office & National Archives)

ATCHISON, Kan. (KSNT) – The chaplain at Benedictine College has lost his position after he disclosed he engaged in “inappropriate conduct” with a female student, according to the university.

Father Simon Baker told the St. Benedict’s Abbey leadership that he had engaged in the conduct with an adult female student at Benedictine. The abbey conducted an internal review with what Baker told them and decided to keep Baker at Benedictine with new rules.

The review board determined that Fr. Simon displayed inappropriate affection and favoritism toward the woman. The board recommended that certain boundaries be placed on Fr. Simon and that counseling and support be offered to the female involved.

Benedictine College

However, Benedictine College said Saturday that the Abbey discovered Baker was not following the boundaries they set and removed him from ministry. The conduct issue did not stop there, however.

Since his removal, the College has received additional reports that Fr. Simon crossed physical and emotional boundaries in pastoral relationships with other adult women. At this point, these reports do not involve a minor or any alleged criminal behavior. Benedictine College and St. Benedict’s Abbey are commencing a third-party investigation of these reports. Fr. Simon is prohibited from being present on campus pending the conclusion of the investigation.

Benedictine College

Benedictine College and St. Benedictine’s Abbey apologized to anyone who has been affected by Baker’s “inappropriate behavior,” and said the investigation is ongoing.

The college asked anyone who may have information about Baker, or anyone who was a victim, to call 913-426-5769.

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