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3 More Michigan Dioceses Reveal Clergy Sex Abuse

Feb 15, 2004 | AP

Three more Michigan Roman Catholic dioceses, representing 210 parishes and more than 330,000 registered Catholics, have released reports of known sexual abuse by clergy against minors.

The reports from individual dioceses have trickled out ahead of a national report of abuse planned to be released Feb. 27.

The most recent releases from the dioceses of Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Marquette cover western Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. The Lansing and Saginaw dioceses are expected to release their reports before the national report, but the Gaylord Diocese and the Eastern Orthodox Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle are waiting for the main disclosure.

A total of 26 priests from the three dioceses abused more than 70 minors from 1950 to present, according to the releases. The level of detail from each diocese varied in these early releases. Some did not say how many minors were abused, others didn’t say how much money was paid out to victims.

Those details, however, should be available in the national report.

Bishop James A. Murray of the Diocese of Kalamazoo apologized to victims in a letter published in the February edition of The Good News, the diocesan newspaper.

“I am deeply sorry for, and ashamed of, what was done to you,†he said. “While no human can see perfectly into the psyche of another, I can only assure you that no priest, religious, volunteer or employee known to have committed sexual abuse has been allowed to continue in public ministry.â€

Kalamazoo, with 46 parishes serving 118,452 registered Catholics, is one of the newer dioceses in Michigan. It reported only two priests with “credible†accusations against them since its creation in 1971.

Marquette, with 74 parishes serving 69,500 registered Catholics, reported 16 priests out of 534 to have credible allegations made against them by 34 victims since 1950.

And Grand Rapids, consisting of 90 parishes and 162,670 registered Catholics, reported eight priests abusing 35 victims since 1950.

Payouts from the latter two were not available.

Detroit, which disclosed its numbers Feb. 5, had accusations leveled against 63 of the archdiocese’s priests and deacons since 1950. Cardinal Adam Maida has said the archdiocese paid nearly $1.38 million in settlements and counseling to 116 victims.

The national roundup will be released in the “John Jay†report. Records from each diocese were to be sent to the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New


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