|Former Area Priest Faces New Abuse Allegation
March 7, 2008
Four new sex-abuse allegations were brought last year against three former priests of the Grand Rapids Catholic Diocese, diocesan officials said today.
The accused priests previously were removed from ministry and the allegations are of abuse that occurred between 35 and 50 years ago, said Mary Haarman, diocesan spokeswoman.
They include Michael McKenna, a former priest in Muskegon Heights' Sacred Heart Catholic Church who was removed from public ministry in 2006 amid other allegations of sexual abuse of boys in the 1970s.
McKenna served the Muskegon Heights parish in 1976 and 1977. Muskegon County Prosecutor Tony Tague said earlier that allegations of abuse against McKenna that were brought to him in 2006 had sufficient evidence, but were beyond the statute of limitations.
Other accused priests are Louis Baudone, removed in 1993; and Stanislaus Bur, who once served in Grand Rapids but was removed by the Saginaw Diocese.
The allegations were reported as part of an annual audit conducted for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The report, released today, found dioceses and religious orders received 691 new allegations last year, down from 714 in 2006.
The Grand Rapids Diocese spent $66,000 last year on programs meant to keep children safer, and $37,500 on counseling costs for abuse survivors. The diocese did not pay out any settlements, Haarman said.
The diocese encourages those who have suffered or suspect abuse to call (616) 243-0491.
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