Congolese priest removed from ministry at St. Boniface following assault charge

| March 1, 2018 | 0 Comments

A priest of the Archdiocese of Kinshasa, Congo, ministering in Minneapolis was removed from ministry after he was charged with domestic assault against an adult woman, Archbishop Bernard Hebda announced March 1.

Father Jules Omba Omalanga had been a chaplain at the University of Minnesota Medical Center and served the French-speaking African Catholic community at St. Boniface. According to the archbishop’s statement, the alleged assault occurred in a context unrelated to the priest’s ministry.

Jules Omba Omalanga

When the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was notified of the allegation, it followed protocol and reported it to police, learning that law enforcement was already investigating, the statement said. Anoka County jail records show Father Omalanga was arrested Feb. 19.

He was later charged with fifth-degree misdemeanor domestic assault, or a nonphysical assault.

After the charge, the archdiocese notified the Archdiocese of Kinshasa, and “without making any judgment on the veracity of the legal charges,” the archbishop said, he relieved the priest of his assignments and informed him that he could no longer minister in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Father Omalanga previously served in Minneapolis as parochial administrator of St. Leonard of Port Maurice; pastor of St. Philip, which merged in 2011 with Ascension; and as an associate priest at All Saints. He also previously served as a chaplain at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis and North Memorial Hospital in Golden Valley.

He told The Catholic Spirit in 2007 that he came to Minnesota in 2004 to escape political unrest in Congo.

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