Protestors Claim Clergy Sex Allegations Mishandled

By Oralandar Brand-williams
The Detroit News
May 4, 2009

Detroit -- A small group of protesters urged Archbishop Allen Vigneron to handle sex allegations against priests in a "more responsible and proactive manner" in connection with a local priest accused of sexually assaulting a girl in the early years of his ministry.

The allegations have been leveled against the Rev. Kenneth Kaucheck, who left his post as pastor at St. Mary Parish in Royal Oak and St. James Parish in Ferndale on April 23 amid the allegations.

The group quietly protested Monday outside the Archdiocese of Detroit offices on Washington Boulevard near downtown and delivered a letter addressed to Vigneron.

"You have an opportunity to start anew with clergy sex abuse cases, and show by your actions that you take seriously protecting the vulnerable and healing the wounded," read the letter from SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused By Priests. The group is based in Chicago.

The group accused the archdiocese of "reckless delay and inexcusable secrecy" surrounding the case of Kaucheck.

Archdiocese of Detroit spokesman Ned McGrath said the group's claims surrounding the practices and policies of the archdiocese when handling complaints of sexual misconduct by its clergy are "misleading and misinformed."

"The timetable does not support SNAP's claim of a 'slow response' regarding the most recent case brought to the archdiocese. When a complaint against Father Kenneth Kaucheck was made in late January, it was immediately turned over to civil authorities," McGrath said Monday.

McGrath added that the archdiocese has been transparent about the Kaucheck case and with other priests with "credible" allegations of sex abuse.

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