Archdiocese Adds Retired Fr. Fares, 96, Franciscan Friars to Accused Clergy List
January 15, 2021
DETROIT — The Archdiocese of Detroit added Fr. Lawrence Fares, 96, a retired priest of the archdiocese, to its list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse after an investigation by the Archdiocesan Review Board found credible an allegation that Fr. Fares had sexually abused a minor during his early years in ministry.
As such, he is restricted from ministry and may not publicly present himself as a priest, the archdiocese said.
The archdiocese said it had been made aware in July 2019 of an allegation against Fr. Fares that had been reported to law enforcement.
“In the fall of 2019, the Archdiocese was authorized by the Attorney General’s Office to commence a Church (canonical) law investigation. During that process, a second allegation was identified,” a statement from the archdiocese said.
The Review Board found the second allegation credible, meaning it contains “a semblance of truth.” However, it cautioned that Fr. Fares is presumed innocent until proven guilty in secular or canonical proceedings.
Born in Lebanon, Fr. Fares was ordained a priest in Rome in 1950 and incardinated into the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1977. He served as associate pastor of St. Louis Parish in Clinton Township (1977-78), Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Grotto) Parish in Detroit (1978-84) and Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish in Detroit (1984-85).
He was administrator of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Detroit (1985-89) and Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Detroit (1978-89), and pastor of St. Ronald Parish in Clinton Township (1989-97), when he was granted senior status.
In addition, the archdiocese said it had been notified by the Franciscan Friars of the Province of St. John the Baptist of eight friars and former friars with abuse allegations against them dating to the 1940s. Most of the friars are now deceased, and all were removed from ministry.
They include Raymond Chappa, OFM (laicized); Kent Hajduk, OFM (laicized and deceased); Bro. Kenneth Hendricks, OFM (a lay brother who later became a diocesan priest in the Philippines); Fr. Marcan Hetteberg, OFM (removed from ministry and deceased); Carter Partee, OFM (laicized and deceased); Fr. Juvenal Pfalzer, OFM (deceased); Bro. Mark Schornack, OFM (deceased); and Bro. John Schreck, OFM (deceased).
Each lived or served in the Archdiocese of Detroit at some point during their ministries, but were not priests of the archdiocese.
Individuals with knowledge of sexual abuse by clergy or other Church representatives are urged to contact local law enforcement and/or the Michigan Attorney General’s Office at (844) 324-3374 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals also may contact the Archdiocese of Detroit by visiting protect.aod.org, calling the toll-free, 24/7 victim assistance line at (866) 343-8055 or by emailing email@example.com. There are no time limits or restrictions on individuals wishing to report abuse.