Priest Linked to Sex Abuse Was Once in Kalamazoo

By Chris Meehan
Kalamazoo Gazette
March 22, 2006

Officials of the Diocese of Kalamazoo said Tuesday they were aware that a substantiated claim of sexual abuse had been lodged against a former priest of the diocese.

Diocesan officials said the Rev. Leonard Bogdan, who served in the diocese from July 1988 until June 2000, is among those priests whose names were released this week by the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago.

Following an outside audit of how it has mishandled many of the claims of clergy sex abuse, the Chicago diocese released the names of all of its living priests who have been the subject of substantiated accusations of sexual abuse.

In all, the Chicago diocese released 55 names. Bogdan was among 17 priests who had not been named before. Bogdan reportedly now lives in Arizona.

Brent King, communications director for the local diocese, said the claim of sexual abuse was made against Bogdan in Chicago before he moved to this diocese.

"In April of 1983, an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor was made against Father Leonard Bogdan, then a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, to the Archdiocese of Chicago. In June of 1986 the allegation was withdrawn, in writing," King said in a press release.

In July 1988, Bogdan was transferred to this diocese to establish a formal Marriage Tribunal -- the office that handles marriage annulments for divorced Catholics.

Former Bishop Paul Donovan, King said, was informed of the original allegation, the withdrawal of the allegation, and "reviewed all the relevant documentation regarding the allegation before making a determination to invite Father Bogdan into the Diocese of Kalamazoo."

In August 2001, the previously withdrawn allegation of sexual abuse of a minor was remade to the Archdiocese of Chicago.

In September 2001, Clark said, the Archdiocese of Chicago notified the Diocese of Kalamazoo that the reasserted allegation had been considered by the Archdiocese's Professional Fitness Review Board and that it had determined that "there is reasonable cause to suspect that sexual misconduct with a minor occurred."

Bogdan's faculties to assist in priestly ministry were suspended in March 2002.

Bogdan served at St. Augustine Cathedral in Kalamazoo. In June 2000, Bogdan retired from active ministry in the Diocese of Kalamazoo.

No claims of sexual abuse were made against Bogdan when he served in Kalamazoo, Clark said.


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