SNAP applauds the ongoing clergy abuse probe in Michigan as another Catholic priest is under investigation
(For Immediate Release September 20, 2021)
Fr. Bryan Medlin, a priest in the Catholic Diocese of Gaylord, is under investigation by the Office of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. According to the Michigan State Police, they are investigating reports of a Diocese of Gaylord clergy member who is accused of sending inappropriate text messages to high school students.
We applaud the ongoing investigation in Michigan for making children and communities safer, and for forcing institutions to be honest and accountable. This disturbing news is sadly not shocking to us, but it refutes the message we often hear from Catholic officials that their sex abuse scandal is a "thing of the past."
An alarming "red flag" to us is the fact that Fr. Medlin apparently worked in four different parishes in eight years. Given the current investigation, this makes us wonder why the cleric was transferred so frequently.
Fr. Medlin was appointed pastor of the National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods in September of 2021. He was also the Assistant Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Gaylord effective August 4, 2021. Prior to these appointments, the priest was employed as the pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, Lake Leelanau. Fr. Medlin's LinkedIn profile also notes that he was an associate pastor at St Francis Xavier Church in Petoskey, Michigan, from 2013-2015. That parish has a school. Following his time at St. Francis, the cleric worked as an associate pastor at All Saints Catholic Community in Lake City.
SNAP Leader Nadja Tirrell in Lansing Michigan remarked, "The Diocese of Gaylord has an obligation to state the nature and number of allegations made, as well as to confirm that Fr. Bryan Medlin is indeed the cleric under investigation. We suspect that there is certainly more to this story, including questions regarding Fr. Medlin's assignment history. Transparency does not damage the integrity of investigations. It allows additional survivors to come forward and places the safety of children first. We hope that the Diocese of Gaylord will change course and make the protection of young lives its top priority."
We urge anyone with information regarding this investigation or with knowledge or suspicions of abuse by clergy in Michigan to contact the AG's hotline at 1-844-324-3374.
CONTACT: Nadja Tirrell, Michigan SNAP Leader ([email protected], 810-874-9620), Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager, (267-261-0578, [email protected] ), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected]
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world's oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)