Archbishop Harry Flynn, Abbot Timothy Kelly and Abbot John Klassen all knew of sexual abuse by Father Michael Bik long before the abuse was finally made public in 2006.
A December 28, 1998 letter [ View ] from Abbot Timothy Kelly to Archbishop Flynn reads, in part:
“At the time of the alleged incidents Michael Bik was a layman employed by an archdiocesan parish. The first I or anyone here became aware of such allegations against Michael was when [redacted] came forward.”
Members of the Abbey’s External Review Board (ERB) were not told about Father Michael Bik’s abuse until February of 2005, twenty months after the first ERB meeting (in June of 2003) at which Abbot Klassen agreed to disclose the names of all known offenders.
Despite knowledge of Bik’s sexual abuse, Abbot Timothy Kelly (abbot until 2000) and Abbot John Klassen (abbot since 2000) allowed Father Michael Bik access to minors and vulnerable adults:
1994-2002 Theology Teacher (St. John’s Prep)
1994-2002 Chaplain (St. John’s Prep)
1994-1999 Campus Ministry (Saint John’s University)
These positions ran concurrent to Bik’s therapy, which ran from 1998-2001.
According to abbey records, Michael Bik was credibly accused of viewing pornography, engaging in mutual masturbation, and “possible” oral sex with two minor males.
Father Michael Bik’s abuse was covered up as the statute of limitations ticked away on other possible victims. In April of 2006, the statute of limitations issues, as it related specifically to Father Michael Bik was discussed by the ERB.
After eight years, Bik’s name was finally made public in 2006.
In an August 2, 2006 Star Tribune article [ View ]:
“The Rev. Michael Bik, 57, accused in 1997 of sexual contact with two teenagers in the 1970s, before he joined the abbey and before his ordination. Bik taught theology and worked in campus ministry at St. John’s Preparatory School until 2002.”
Michael Bik received his B.A. (Mathematics) from St. Thomas in 1971 and his M.A. (Pastoral Ministry) from St. Thomas in 1980. Bik joined the monastery in 1986, took final vows in 1989 and was ordained in 1993. Bik also worked at the St. John’s Leadership Camps in 1993 and was an associate pastor at St. Joseph’s Parish in St. Joseph, MN from 1993 to 1994.