Statement from Bishop Paul Swain
posted on: 9/21/2016
The Most Reverend Paul J. Swain
Bishop of Sioux Falls
September 21, 2016
Regarding an allegation against Reverend Joseph T. Forcelle
The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis has informed me of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by Reverend Joseph T. Forcelle when he served in the Archdiocese. The child sexual abuse allegedly took place in the late-1970s and early-1980s when Father Forcelle was serving as a priest at Saint Mark Parish in Saint Paul, MN. The Archdiocese reported this allegation to civil authorities.
The allegation came forward through current legal proceedings involving the Archdiocese. The allegation has not been made directly to the Diocese of Sioux Falls and, since his arrival to the Diocese in 1984, no allegations have been made toward Father Forcelle.
As a result of diocesan policies and the guidelines of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young Persons that apply in all similar circumstances, Father Forcelle who denies the allegation has been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of an independent investigation.
As bishop and on behalf of the Church, I encourage victims of child sexual abuse to come forward to local authorities or to the Diocese so that they might be offered assistance.
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