Group: Brother Baker Also Served in Mich.
January 31, 2013
A support group for victims of clergy sex abuse called attention in Detroit on Wednesday to what it says is another place where Brother Stephen Baker worked as a Franciscan friar.
The Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests said Baker was assigned three years to a Catholic prep school in Orchard Lake, Mich., from 1983 to 1985.
Judy Jones, SNAP’s Midwest associate director, said the organization was told by someone in the Detroit area that Baker served at the school.
SNAP held signs Wednesday outside the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit headquarters to talk about Baker, and hand- delivered a letter to the office of the archbishop asking that he reach out to anyone who “saw, suspected or suffered” crimes by Baker, Jones said.
The 62-year-old friar committed suicide Saturday after being accused of committing sexual assaults against students at Warren John F. Kennedy High School between 1986 and 1991 and at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown, Pa., between 1992 and 2000.
Baker was living in a monastery in Hollidaysburg, Pa.
A call from The Vindicator to the school in Orchard Lake was not returned, nor were calls to a school in Norfolk, Va., where SNAP said Baker worked in 1977.
In the press release, SNAP also criticized Bishop George Murry of the Youngstown diocese for what it says is his “continued secrecy and deception” for not making all of Brother Baker’s assignments known to the public.
Church officials have “kept hidden in recent discussions of Baker’s history” all of the locations where Baker was assigned, SNAP says.
“We didn’t know anything about Michigan and Virginia,” said Nancy Yuhasz, chancellor of the Youngstown diocese.
Baker’s religious order, the Third Order Regular Franciscans, made Baker’s assignments, not the Youngstown diocese, Yuhasz said.
“It would have to be up to them [the Franciscans] to let us know things we might not know,” she said, adding that she still doesn’t know Brother Baker’s assignments beyond the Youngstown diocese.