Retired Archdiocese of Detroit priest, 96, restricted amid sexual abuse allegations
The Archdiocese of Detroit has expelled a 96-year-old retired priest from the ministry after sexual abuse officials alleged they were credible.
The Rev. Lawrence Fares “cannot wear clerical clothing or present himself as a priest, and his name was added to the online list of Archdiocese of Detroit clergy charged with sexually abusing a minor,” said a statement.
The update was announced this week following a determination by the Archdiocese’s Board of Examiners.
In July 2019, the Archdiocese learned of an allegation from Fares’ early years of service that had been reported to law enforcement.
Later that year, the Michigan Attorney General authorized the Archdiocese to initiate a canonical legal investigation that resulted in officials hearing a second allegation. When the investigation ended, the case was brought to the archdiocese’s review committee, which found the allegations credible, the archdiocese said.
“An allegation is considered credible if it has a ‘semblance of truth’, which means that it appears to be true or could possibly be true,” said the archdiocese. “There remains a presumption of innocence until a person is found guilty in secular or ecclesiastical proceedings.”
According to the Archdiocese, the tariffs moved to senior / retired status in 1997 and had last served in St. Ronald, Clinton Ward.
Fares was consecrated in Rome in 1950. He joined the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1977 and was Associate Pastor in St. Louis, Clinton Ward from 1977 to 1978. Assumption of the Virgin in Detroit, 1978-84; and Our Lady, Queen of Heaven in Detroit, 1984-85.
He also served as administrator at St. Thomas the Apostle and the Most Holy Name of Jesus, both in Detroit in the late 1980s, the Archdiocese reported.
Fares lived in the community and has published books in both Arabic and English, according to a post that announced his 96th birthday on the St. Peter Parish website in Pacifica, California last year.
Also this week, the Archdiocese said the Franciscan Friars (Province of St. John the Baptist) had alerted the church officials of eight brothers and former brothers “with well-founded allegations of child sexual abuse against them. The results concern cases from 1940.”
The eight had previously served in the service or lived in the Archdiocese of Detroit, but were not priests there.
These include Raymond Chappa, OFM; Kent Hajduk, OFM; Brothers. Kenneth Hendricks, OFM; Marcan Hetteberg, OFM; Carter Partee, OFM; Juvenal Palatinate; Brothers. Mark Schornack; and bro. John Schreck.
Residents with knowledge of sexual abuse by clergy or other Church officials are encouraged to contact their local law enforcement agency or the Michigan Attorney General at (844) 324-3374 or [email protected] You can also contact the Archdiocese of Detroit at protected.aod.org (866) 343-8055 or email [email protected]