Bay City Priest Resigns after Allegation of Sexual Misconduct

Grand Rapid Press (Michigan)
May 13, 2002

BAY CITY — A Roman Catholic priest in this mid-Michigan community has resigned after acknowledging a complaint of sexual misconduct against him.

Parishioners learned of Wednesday's resignation of Rev. Leonard Wilkuski by a letter. Wilkuski, 65, served for three years at Holy Trinity Catholic Church.

"An allegation of sexual misconduct has been made against me. It concerns an incident which occurred much earlier in my ministry," Wilkuski wrote.

"I regret the hurt I have caused others in the past, and I regret the hurt I am causing you now. ... I want you to know that this was part of my past, and I moved beyond this years ago."

Including Wilkuski, at least 16 Catholic priests in Michigan have been removed, suspended or have left their duties since Jan. 1 amid sexual abuse or misconduct allegations.

"To remove a 65-year-old pastor from his parish and to tell him that because of past misconduct he can no longer serve as a priest is a very severe action," Diocese of Saginaw Bishop Kenneth Untener said.

Diocese spokeswoman Cathy Haven declined to discuss the allegations against Wilkuski.

"We have policies concerning those allegations and those policies kicked in immediately, and when Father Wilkuski was told of the allegations, he resigned."


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