Waterford Twp. priest restricted from ministry after abuse allegation

Detroit News

June 20, 2019

By Beth LeBlanc

An Archdiocese of Detroit priest has been restricted from all public ministry following an allegation that he sexually abused a minor.

The Rev. Joseph “Jack” Baker, the pastor of St. Perpetua in Waterford Township, was removed Wednesday pending “the outcome of the canonical process” because of an allegation dating back to his early years of ministry, according to a statement from the archdiocese

The archdiocese said it reported the recent allegation to state Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office, which authorized the diocese to move forward with its review and removal process.

As part of his restrictions, Baker, 57, cannot present himself as a priest, exercise any church ministry or wear clerical clothing. The diocese will monitor Baker to ensure he complies.

The Rev. Gerard Battersby, an auxiliary bishop for the archdiocese, will take over leadership at St. Perpetua Parish as a temporary administrator.

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