Father Mel Taylor reportedly left the Bahamas on Monday, June 4, 2012, a day after he was confronted during mass by a man who claimed Father Mel Taylor had pursued him (for a sexual relationship) over a year and a half period. The man used the church’s microphone after communion to make the accusations.
Father Mel Taylor was not scheduled to leave the Bahamas until June 24, 2012 but reportedly left early “for health reasons.”
Father Mel Taylor arrived in the Bahamas in 1980, following allegations of misconduct in Cold Spring, Minnesota. Father Mel Taylor served as associate pastor of St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Nassau, Bahamas for one year.
After his year in the Bahamas, Father Mel Taylor returned to Saint John’s Abbey.
It didn’t take long for Father Mel Taylor to get into trouble. According to another monk:
Fr. Mel Taylor was making advances toward another monk. These advances were brought to the attention of Abbot Timothy Kelly. Timothy Kelly’s response was something like, “I know Mel, he wouldn’t do that”.
After rumors of misconduct surfaced at the Saint John’s Prep School ( Victim #2 ) and in the monastery, Father Mel Taylor was once again exiled to the Bahamas in 1990.
This practice (exiling offending monks) was reportedly employed by Saint John’s Abbey since the early 1960s when Father Allen Tarlton made his first trip to the islands.
More: Monk Offenders in the Bahamas
According to the Archdiocese of Nassau, Fr. Mel Taylor “taught religion classes at St. Augustine College and was appointed Prior of the St. Augustine’s Monastery in 1991. He remained in that position until the closure of the Monastery in June 2005. He also served at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish on Long Island from 1997-2000, and was appointed pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in 2006 until the present.”
On May 31, 2012, Bishop John F. Kinney, Diocese of Saint Cloud (after presentation of the Right Reverend John Klassen, OSB) announced [ View ] that effective September 1, 2012, Father Mel Taylor, OSB, would be pastor of the Church of Saint John the Baptist, Collegeville.
Father Mel Taylor’s departure marked the end of an era for the Benedictine Monks who have served in the Bahamas for over 114 years.