MI--Another Detroit predator priest is “outed” for first time

For immediate release: Friday, Nov. 13, 2015

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those abused by Priests (314 566 9790[email protected])

In what may be the most terse and least compassionate church announcement of this sort we’ve ever seen, Detroit Catholic officials admit that a local priest is “credibly accused” of child sex crimes. Shame on Archbishop Allen Vigneron for his self-serving statement about Fr. Thomas J. Cain.


Instead of minimizing Fr. Cain’s crimes or distancing himself from them, Vigneron should be aggressively seeking out his victims and working hard to warn parents, police, prosecutors, parishioners and the public about every each of the 64 publicly accused Detroit predator priests (See BishopAccountability.org).

(The real number of child molesting clerics in the Detroit area, we firmly believe, is at least twice that high.)

Vignernon should be exposing every one of them, living or dead, and every church employee who ignored or concealed their crimes. And he should do so now, not in a piecemeal fashion every time a victim, witness or whistleblower sufficiently pressures him to name one more predator. He should be prodding anyone with information or suspicions about clergy sex crimes or cover ups to call police and prosecutors. (Even if the predator is deceased, sometimes those who destroyed evidence, intimidated victims, threatened witnesses, discredited whistleblowers or helped a criminal evade apprehension can be charged.)

Pope Francis has said "Everything possible must be done to rid the church of the scourge of the sexual abuse of minors and to open pathways of reconciliation and healing for those who were abused." Is a cold, tiny announcement like this one about Fr. Cain honoring Francis’ pledge? We don’t think so.

We beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by Fr. Cain to come forward, get help, expose wrongdoers, deter cover ups and start healing. We urge them to contact independent sources of help, not biased, self-serving church officials. And we ask Detroit Catholics to prod Vigneron to personally visit every parish where Fr. Cain worked, seeking out and helping others who may still be suffering in shame, silence and self-blame because of these horrific crimes.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected][email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747[email protected])


Regarding Fr. Thomas J. Cain…


For more information contact: Joe Kohn, Director of Public Relations, [email protected]313-237-5943

Father Thomas J. Cain. (1919-1984). Ordained in 1945. Decades after his death, allegations of sexual abuse of minors were brought forward to the Archdiocesan Board of Review, considered, and are believed to be credible.

Parish assignments included serving as an associate pastor at St. Vincent de Paul, Pontiac; St. Mary, Monroe; St. Louis, Mt. Clemens; St. Patrick, Detroit; Christ the King, Detroit; and as pastor of St. Maurice, Livonia from 1960- 1984.

The Archdiocese of Detroit places no deadlines or time limits on reporting the sexual abuse of minors by priests, deacons, and other personnel and/or to speak to the Victim Assistance Coordinator c/o (866) 343-8055 or [email protected].

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