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Archdiocese of Detroit responds to AG Nessel’s investigation into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church

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(WXYZ) – The Archdiocese of Detroit responded to Attorney General Dana Nessel’s press conference Thursday to inform the public about the state investigation into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

In a media release, the Detroit Archdiocese said it commended the attorney general’s investigation. However, there were some clarifications that needed to be made regarding the press conference. One clarification is that the Archdiocese of Detroit has not entered into any nondisclosure agreements about investigations into sexual abuse since 2002.

Read the full statement from the Archdiocese of Detroit below:

  • As of 2002, the Archdiocese of Detroit has not entered into nondisclosure agreements unless specifically requested by an abuse survivor, as required by the Catholic Church in the United States. In addition, the archdiocese does not enforce nondisclosure agreements signed before 2002. We encourage all abuse survivors to share their stories.
  • The Archdiocese of Detroit does not self-policing. We encourage all victims to report abuse directly to law enforcement. If we learn of an allegation of underage sexual abuse, we immediately notify law enforcement agencies under the agreements we have made with them since 2002 when we exchanged previous files of clergymen and committed to handing over any new allegations independently of when the alleged abuse took place. We then follow the instructions of law enforcement agencies to step aside and assist with criminal investigations if requested.
  • The Archdiocese of Detroit has not been asked by the Attorney General to end the internal review process. These internal investigations are required by Church law and are used to restrict or remove from service anyone who has sexually abused a minor or vulnerable adult. The Archdiocese of Detroit does not set any deadlines or deadlines for those wishing to report sexual abuse of minors by priests, deacons, and other staff. Five, 15 or 50 years later, our diocese accepts and responds to all reports – and immediately communicates them to law enforcement agencies.
  • Clergymen with credible allegations against them do not belong in the service. Since the Attorney General’s investigation began, the Archdiocese of Detroit has received no notification from this office of any credible allegation against any of our priests. Should we become aware of such a complaint, we will act immediately.
  • The registration laws required by the state of Michigan have been in place for decades. Over the years we have strongly supported the expansion of the list, including the addition of clergymen. The Archdiocese of Detroit periodically informs all appointed reporters of their obligations to report sexual abuse or neglect of minors.
  • When the Archdiocese of Detroit became aware of the Attorney General’s request to publish the parishes, we immediately offered to help our parishes facilitate the publication of this material.
  • The Archdiocese of Detroit looks forward to working with the Attorney General’s Office to clarify some of the general generalizations made during today’s press conference.

“The Archdiocese of Detroit continues to offer prayers and mourning to all survivors and their families,” the statement said. “A sinful, criminal act, especially against God’s most vulnerable and trusting children, is unacceptable and one suffering soul is too many. We continue to work to prevent sexual abuse against anyone – especially children and vulnerable adults.”

To report abuse within the Catholic Church, visit this website: https://protect.aod.org/.

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Dusty Kennedy