7 Catholic Dioceses in Michigan Searched by Police in Abuse Investigation
By Niraj Warikoo
Detroit Free Press
October 4, 2018
|Chancery offices of the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit, 12 State St., Detroit|
Law enforcement officials with the Michigan Attorney General's Office executed search warrants Wednesday for clergy files at all seven Catholic dioceses in Michigan as part of its investigation into sexual abuse of children by priests.
At about 9 a.m., law enforcement officials arrived at the Chancery office of the Archdiocese of Detroit on State Street, which is the largest of the seven dioceses, according to the Archdiocese of Detroit.
In Detroit, law enforcement also executed search warrants at the Cardinal Mooney Building, which is on the campus of Sacred Heart Major Seminary, and the St. Joan of Arc Parish office of Msgr. Michael Bugarin, the Archbishop’s Delegate for Clergy Misconduct.
State law enforcement officials also executed search warrants at Catholic dioceses in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Gaylord, Kalamazoo, Marquette and Saginaw, said Archdiocese officials.
"The Archdiocese of Detroit cooperated fully with law enforcement officials executing a search warrant for clergy files today," the Archdiocese said in a statement. "Such search warrants are an expected part of this process. …
"As stated earlier, the Archdiocese of Detroit welcomes the Attorney General's investigation as part of its continuing commitment to transparency and healing. We have worked closely with authorities from all six counties within our Archdiocese since 2002, when we shared past case files involving clergy misconduct and committed to turning over all new allegations regardless of when the alleged abuse occurred. We remain committed to protecting everyone — especially children and vulnerable adults — and therefore look forward to working closely with officials to determine if there is more we can do to accomplish this goal."
Last month, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced his office is opening an investigation into abuse by Catholic priests. Michigan is one of several states that has launched investigations after a report released this year by the Pennsylvania Attorney General showed extensive abuse by priests and cover-ups by Catholic leaders.
|The new home of the Detroit Archdiocese moves to Capitol Park at 1212 Griswold. Archbishop Allen Vigneron did the official ribbon cutting Wednesday, March 18, 2015. (Photo: Regina H. Boone, Detroit Free Press)|
A spokeswoman for Schuette declined comment on Wednesday.
In a statement last month, the Michigan Attorney General said that "a full and complete investigation of what happened within the Catholic Church is required. This investigation is and will continue to be independent, thorough, transparent, and prompt. My department and this investigation will find out who knew what, and when."
Michigan's seven Catholic dioceses have about 2 million Catholics, 1.3 million of them in the Archdiocese of Detroit.
In a statement on the searches, the Saginaw Diocese said: "Some diocesan staff members remained onsite throughout the day to assist investigators in locating the files they were seeking. ... We are thankful for the professionalism with which the warrant was executed, today, as well as the acknowledgment by the attorney general’s office of our desire to cooperate."
The Grand Rapids Diocese said it "fully cooperated in the execution of a search warrant related to the ongoing investigation by the Michigan Department of the Attorney General."
To report abuse, the Attorney General said to call the investigation hotline at 844-324-3374 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.) or email email@example.com.
Or, click here to fill out an online form.