Lansing Bishop Promulgates Law Written by Mackillop Coalition to Protect Adults and Children
November 16, 2020
On November 4, 2020, Lansing Bishop Earl Boyea signed policies into law written by the St. Mary MacKillop Coalition for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (Fenton, Michigan). These policies were promulgated to the priests of the Diocese of Lansing by email on Friday, November 13, 2020, and thereby became local law consistent with Canon Law 7.
However, these previous policies and current policies have been rescinded from public view.
The newly promulgated law protects adults and children in the following ways:
Priests will no longer be able to sleep with children or be alone with them in general (see new policy 184.108.40.206).
Sex abuse documents regarding abuse of adults will no longer be able to be destroyed by attorneys (see new policy 220.127.116.11).
Adults will now be included in the protections afforded by the Charter for the Protection of Children included in policy 2.1.9.
Victims will be given access to records regarding their case so they can verify that what has been documented is what they reported (policy 2.1.9-14).
Victim’s statements will now be verified with them in writing to prevent misstatement (policy 2.1.9-17).
The MacKillop Coalition believes this is good news, but additional work is needed.
Two of the Coalition’s seven recommendations were not adopted. As a result:
The Diocese of Lansing has not agreed to “verify the identity and work history of prospective priests, and the Diocese of Lansing shall not accept priests that were deemed unfit for ministry in another diocese.”
In 2018, a credibly accused priest used an alternate name and falsified his work history. This priest was then placed back into the same parish after he was credibly accused in the Diocese of Lansing. His faculties were removed in three U.S. dioceses between June 2017 and August 2018.
The Diocese of Lansing has not agreed to “review transactions approved by local pastors which are below $10,000 (not reviewed by the finance council) for integrity with the mission of the Church to prevent the diversion of donated funds for illicit purposes.”
The Diocese of Lansing suffered +$5.5 million in criminal fraud by diocesan priests who transferred money out of their parish, often in amounts below $10,000 without review. Emails released in The Bishop’s Guide for the Deterrence and Prevention of Corporate Sex Crime Against Adults and Priests show a priest transferring numerous small amounts of funds into his boat account with his boyfriend (another priest).
The MacKillop Coalition believes that all Catholic Dioceses throughout the world should adopt all seven of the Coalition’s recommendations.
Below are the seven recommendations the MacKillop Coalition submitted to the Diocese of Lansing with commentary and reports demonstrating how the lack of these policies directly led to crime (canonical and civil) against lay persons, priests, and children. These policies are likely missing from your diocese.
Please send this document and report to your local ordinary (bishop) so that they may establish laws to protect adults from crime and victims of sexual abuse from further abuse by diocesan staff.
The Diocese of Lansing shall adopt policies consistent with provision 3.3 through 3.5 of the settlement agreement between the Archdiocese of St. Paul Minneapolis and the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office:
This policy has been adopted. The lack of this policy led to numerous cases of child rape by priests within the Diocese of Lansing. Please click here for press report: ‘If there is a hell, you deserve to be first in line,’ victims speak in former priest’s sentencing
Policy 2.1.9 shall be amended so that adults and clergy are included within the 27 principles and protections for child victims within policy 2.1.9. If this policy cannot be amended, then a policy titled 2.1.9-A shall be issued that is identical to this policy in all ways as possible, which specifically includes adults. If this is not possible, then a statement should be made that adults are included within all protections listed within policy 2.1.9. This statement or amended policy shall be added to the Diocese of Lansing’s policies within section 2 and be posted online. In either case, policy-based protections shall be given to adults and minors when they make their complaint of abuse to ensure understanding and compliance by staff.
This policy has been adopted. The lack of this policy led to the abuse of adults by priests and then by Church staff. Please click here to see an open letter by James Grein (one of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s victims) describing how men, women, and priests suffered as a result. The letter also introduces The Bishop’s Guide for the Deterrence and Prevention of Corporate Sex Crime Against Adults and Priests, a guide written by the MacKillop Coalition.
The diocesan legal counsel shall provide adult and child victims with access to documents related to their case so victims may verify that the allegation documented by the diocese is in fact the allegation they presented.
This policy has been adopted. As a result of this policy not being adopted previously, false information remains attributed to victims on diocesan statements. This places victims and good priests at risk, damaging the integrity of the Catholic Church. (Please see links below)
Link: MI Diocese Accused Of Feeding Media False Info
Link: Suspended Priest Wins $125k From Detective Over Claims Of Child Sex Abuse
The assigned investigator by the Diocese of Lansing (per c. 1717) shall verify allegations presented by victims, directly with victims, and in writing, to prevent fraud, misstatement, inaccurate reporting and malicious prosecution of innocent priests.
This policy has been adopted. Without this policy in place, false hearsay has been attributed to victims, leading to fraud and repeat offenses of sexual abuse. (Please see links below)
Link: Michigan Bishop Shrugs Off Concerns About Sex Abuser
Link: MI Diocese Accused of Feeding Media False Info
Policy 18.104.22.168 shall be amended to prohibit anyone, including outside counsel, from destroying documents, electronic mediums and records relating to misconduct, abuse or neglect, including documentation relating to adult victims and clergy who have been victimized by Church personnel. This should include the local bishop and other high-ranking members of the Catholic Church hierarchy.
This policy has been adopted. Documents were previously able to be destroyed regarding sex abuse of adults.
The Diocese of Lansing Human Resource staff and Vicar of Clergy shall verify the identity and work history of prospective priests, and the Diocese of Lansing shall not accept priests that were deemed unfit for ministry in another diocese.
This policy has not been adopted. As a result of not having this policy, a thrice removed priest who used a fake name continued his tour of credible accusations through the Diocese of Lansing, and was placed back into the same parish seven days after being credibly accused of sexual abuse. (Please see report below)
Link: Michigan Bishop Boyea Places Adults At Risk Of Abuse
The Diocese of Lansing internal audit department and assigned external auditors shall review transactions approved by local pastors which are below $10,000 (not reviewed by the finance council) for integrity with the mission of the Church to prevent the diversion of donated funds for illicit purposes.
This policy has not been adopted. As a result, priest’s can transfer money to entities for illicit purposes without detection. Some illicit uses can pass audits but fail reviews for integrity and the mission of the Church. See reporting of +$5.5 million criminal fraud by Lansing priests, and numerous transfers to a “boat fund” by another Lansing priest within the Bishop’s Guide below.
Link: The Bishop’s Guide for the Deterrence and Prevention of Corporate Sex Crime Against Adults and Priests in the Catholic Church
Link: Catholic Group Spotlights Sex Abuse Loopholes
Attached to this press release are the policies before and after the reforms of November 4, 2020.
This press release was issued November 14, 2020.
For more information on the St. Mary MacKillop Coalition for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults, please click here.