Diocese of Saginaw [Saginaw MI]
March 26, 2021
Today Bishop Robert Gruss, Bishop of the Diocese of Saginaw, removed the name of Reverend Dennis Kucharczyk from the diocesan website’s list of clergy with an allegation of child sexual abuse. Following consultation with Father Kucharczyk, Bishop Gruss has released the following statement.
On March 17, 2019, Bishop Walter A. Hurley, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Saginaw, received information from law enforcement that an allegation of sexual abuse involving a minor had been made against Reverend Dennis H. Kucharczyk, Pastor of Saint John XXIII Parish of Hemlock. The allegation dated back to Father Kucharczyk’s early years in ministry. Following consultation with the Office of the Attorney General in Michigan, and in accordance with diocesan policy, Father Kucharczyk was placed on administrative leave pending further investigation.
The Office of the Attorney General chose not to file criminal charges. At this point, the Diocese continued its internal investigation in February 2020. The Diocese thereupon engaged an independent investigator, a retired police detective. The investigator presented a confidential investigative report to Bishop Robert D. Gruss and the Independent Diocesan Review Board. That report included evidence of boundary violations involving Father Kucharczyk. Subsequently, Bishop Gruss consulted with the Holy See, according to proper canonical process. Their report indicated that there was insufficient evidence to proceed further regarding the allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. Under both canon and civil law, Father retains the presumption of innocence in regard to this allegation.
Father Kucharczyk has denied the allegation of child sexual abuse and is pleased with the conclusion of the investigation. Father Kucharczyk’s name has been removed from the diocesan list of clergy on administrative leave due to the allegation of child sexual abuse. He will now take time to determine his next steps and expresses his gratitude to those who have prayed and supported him throughout this difficult time.