Sex Case Forced Priest's Exit
Letter to St. Joseph's Parish Reveals He Left Amid Allegations
By Kim Kozlowski
June 26, 2002
Trenton — The 1,400 families of St. Joseph's parish will soon receive a letter saying their pastor has left the church amid allegations of sexual misconduct with an adult.
The Rev. James Vedro, 64, told the church community two weeks ago of his departure.
"He said that a new pastor had been appointed, but he didn't tell them why he was leaving," said Rich Laskos at the Archdiocese of Detroit.
Parishioners were sent a letter Tuesday from the Rev. Thomas Carkhuff, prior provincial of the Crosier Fathers, a small Minnesota group of religious brothers to which Vedro belonged.
"Fr. Vedro has asked me to share with you some very difficult news," Carkhuff wrote. "He has asked me to tell you how deeply he regrets his past behavior."
Vedro, the eighth priest in the archdiocese who has stepped down or been removed from his post amid allegations of sexual misconduct, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
The Crosiers recently hired a law firm to review every sexual misconduct allegation it had on file. The investigation revealed information that prompted Vedro's removal.
The allegations do not involve anyone during his tenure in the Archdiocese of Detroit, which began in 1991. He was an associate pastor in St. Alphonsus in Dearborn and St. Cyprian in Riverview before being named pastor of St. Joseph in 1996.
"Fr. Vedro's presence here at St. Joseph's resulted from careful consultation, which convinced church leaders that he would not place anyone in the parish or public at risk," Carkhuff wrote. "To our knowledge, Fr. Vedro has performed his duties at St. Joseph's with integrity and appropriate conduct."
Vedro will now live among the Crosiers.
Succeeding him will be the Rev. Steven Wertanen, associate pastor of Our Lady of Victory in Northville. Wertanen attended the Catholic school of St. Joseph and was raised in Downriver.
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