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Priest Ousted Amid Sex Charges

Apr 3, 2002 | The Detroit News

A second Metro Detroit priest in less than a week has left his parish over allegations of sexual misconduct.

The Rev. Gary Bueche, pastor of SS. John and Paul Catholic Church in Washington Township, quit Monday night after "a credible" allegation of sexual abuse was filed against him with the Archdiocese of Detroit, archdiocese spokesman Richard Laskos said Tuesday night.

Bueche's resignation came a week after another Metro Detroit priest stepped down from his parish because of allegations of sexual misconduct. The swift action by the archdiocese comes as the Roman Catholic Church faces nationwide upheaval because of widespread allegations of sexual abuse of young parishioners by priests.

The move also comes less than two weeks after the archdiocese removed an Alpena priest once accused of inappropriate behavior in a lawsuit.

Bueche, 57, was at one time in charge of recruiting priests and nuns for the archdiocese. He also was a former pastor of St. Frances Cabrini in Allen Park, St. Germaine in St. Clair Shores and St. John's Deaf Center in Warren and a former chaplain at Bishop Gallagher High School in Harper Woods.

The accusation of misconduct involved an incident that occurred decades ago, said Ned McGrath, archdiocese spokesman.

In a statement, McGrath said the Rev. John Hall, a retired priest from Utica, assumed temporary duties as administrator of the Washington Township parish on Tuesday.

"These actions follow a credible allegation of sexual misconduct arising from the early years of Fr. Bueche's service as a priest," McGrath said.

Bueche was not available for comment. The archdiocese did not know where he was staying after leaving the church Monday, Laskos said.
Bueche was ordained as a priest in 1970.

He was director of the pastoral vocations office that recruits priests and nuns from September 1986 to July 1988. He gave the longest service at St. Frances Cabrini, working at the Downriver parish from 1988-98 before accepting his most recent assignment in Washington Township.

The other two priests removed in the last two weeks were the Rev. Dennis D. Duggan, who oversaw both St. Suzanne and Our Lady Gate of Heaven in Detroit and the Rev. Gerald Shirilla of St. Mary Catholic Church in Alpena.

Both were placed on administrative leave pending further investigation by the archdiocese.

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