Diocese of Lansing, MI Releases List of Accused Priests

The Diocese of Lansing, MI today released their list of priests that have been accused of abuse. We hope that this release will bring hope and healing to survivors and will help protect more children from being victimized in the future.

The list released by church officials in Lansing is a long-overdue and belated move, a step that we believe Bishop Earl Boyea should have more than ten years ago when he was first appointed to his post. Dioceses first began releasing these lists in 2002 and today’s release likely only occurred because of pressure from parishioners and the public in Michigan.

Given the long delay in releasing this list, we are dismayed to see that the information put out by church officials in Lansing is incomplete and missing critical information related to cases of clergy sex abuse and cover-up. For example, this list leaves out all information related to when the allegation of abuse was first received by church officials in Lansing and what actions were taken in response to those allegations. Only by knowing how abusive priests were handled by their superiors can we get a full picture of what went wrong and whether other communities in Michigan were knowingly used as dumping grounds for abusive priests.

It is also notable that the independent watchdog website, BishopAccountability.org, lists 6 names of abusive priests in Lansing that do not appear on the list released by church officials today. Those names are Alphonse Broadway, Gerald F. Boyer, Kenneth F. Couhglin, Jeffrey Gregory, John Martin, and Bishop James Sullivan. We call on Bishop Boyea and other church officials to explain this discrepancy and why these names were not included on their list.

Fortunately, the people of Michigan do not have to depend on church officials for the transparency that they deserve. Attorney General Dana Nessel has been leading an active and thorough investigation into clergy abuse in her state and we look forward to the release of A.G. Nessel’s final report, something that we believe will give a far more accurate look at the scope of clergy abuse in Michigan than these long-delayed and incomplete reports from church officials.

We encourage any survivors who may still be suffering in silence to find the courage to come forward, make a report to local police and A.G. Nessel’s hotline (1-844-324-3374), and find support and healing from trusted friends, therapists, or support groups.

CONTACT: Jeanne Hunton, SNAP Michigan (jhunton@snapnetwork.org, 586-804-3654), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.org, 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

 


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