MLive [Walker MI]
July 24, 2021
By Cole Waterman
SAGINAW, MI — The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw has permanently removed one of its priests from duty, years after the priest was accused of sexual misconduct.
On Friday, July 23, Bishop Robert Gruss removed the Rev. Ronald J. Dombrowski from ministry, the diocese said in a statement.
The diocese had suspended Dombrowski in March 2018 as a “precautionary measure” after someone reported to the agency that Dombrowski sexually abused them as a minor. No criminal charges have been filed against Dombrowski.
After the diocese received the initial allegation against Dombrowski on Feb. 28, 2018, two more people came forward with similar claims against the priest.
The abuse occurred in Dombrowski’s “early years of ministry,” the diocese stated.
“My prayers remain with any and all who have suffered sexual abuse by clergy, especially minors and vulnerable adults,” Gruss said. “As we know, the pain runs deep and the wounds are easily reopened. I hope and pray that resolution in this case will be a step toward healing for all involved, and I ask for your continued prayers for all victims of abuse. Those, including clergy, whose actions have injured others, must be held accountable.”
Dombrowski is now to “live a life of prayer and penance,” the diocese stated. During an diocesan internal investigation, Dombrowski said he “could not recall what might have happened more than 40 years ago,” the diocese said.
Gruss consulted with the Holy See before permanently restricting Dombrowski’s ministry, the diocese said. Before his suspension, Dombrowski preached at Holy Family Parish in Saginaw.
Dombrowski’s name is now listed on the diocese’s website with six other former clergymen’s who were permanently removed from ministry due to credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors. This section of the agency’s website lists four priests who died before such allegations against them and 18 clergymen who served in the Diocese of Saginaw at some point who each face at least one allegation.
The website also lists Robert J. “Father Bob” DeLand Jr. as being on administrative leave related to allegations, and barred from public ministry. DeLand, 74, was paroled from prison on April 27 after serving two years on convictions of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, gross indecency between two males and manufacturing or distributing an imitation controlled substance.
DeLand is to be on parole until April 27, 2023, though he must register as a sex offender until Oct. 13, 2045, when he will be 98.