Local Parishioners to Be Notified of Abuse Allegations against Priest

By Ann Zaniewski
Daily Tribune
November 1, 2011

Rev. Schulte served at St. Vincent Ferrer, National Shrine of the Little Flower and Guardian Angels parishes

Parishioners at some Oakland County churches will see a notice in their bulletins this weekend about a Warren priest facing allegations of sexual misconduct.

The Archdiocese of Detroit says it has placed Rev. Gary Schulte, 66, on leave after finding “sufficient substance” behind a complaint that he engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor early in his ministry.

Schulte has served since 1994 as pastor of St. Sylvester church in Warren. Before that, he served at four Oakland County parishes: St. Vincent Ferrer in Madison Heights, National Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Beverly Hills and Guardian Angels in Clawson.

Joe Kohn, director of public relations for the archdiocese, said the archdiocese’s Victim Assistance Coordinator received a complaint in September about alleged sexual misconduct. Church officials launched an investigation and forwarded the complaint to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office.

Kohn said he wouldn’t identify which parish Schulte was serving at the time of the alleged incident out of respect for the person who made the complaint.

Kohn did say: “It’s not a young minor, but certainly under the age of 18. We’re acting on one complaint.”

Oakland County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Paul Walton could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

Officials at the Archdiocese reviewed the complaint and found it to be of “sufficient substance to require restrictions on Fr. Schulte’s service as a priest.” Schulte has been placed on administrative leave of absence from his post at St. Sylvester and is not allowed to publicly celebrate Mass or any sacraments. He is also not allowed to publicly present himself as a priest.

Kohn said each parish that Schulte served previously has been notified, and an announcement has been created that will run in church bulletins this weekend.

“We are making every parish that he served at aware of what’s going on,” he said. “We’re asking the leaderships of those parishes to share that with their parishioners.”

According to the Archdiocese, Schulte was ordained in 1972 and became associate pastor of Guardian Angels that same year. In 1973, he became associate pastor of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs.

Schulte was named associate pastor of National Shrine of the Little Flower in 1980. In 1983, he became pastor of St. Vincent Ferrer.

Schulte also served as a chaplain at Macomb Community College starting in 1975.

People who answered the phones at the four Oakland County parishes Monday declined to comment or said no current employees of the parish were around at the time Schulte served there. Questions were directed to the Archdiocese.

The Archdiocese of Detroit’s Victim Assistance Coordinator can be reached at 866-343-8055.


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