The Diocese of Lansing is opening its records to reveal the names of priests who have been associated with the Diocese who have been subject to credible allegations of sexually abusing a minor.
The list goes back to 1937 and includes an estimated 2.8% of the priests belonging to the Diocese.
According to a news statement from the Diocese, over 90% of such allegations stem from a three-decade period beginning in the 1960’s.
All of the priests in the list are now dead or no longer in active ministry.
“The primary intended audience of this list are victims of abuse: to encourage presently unknown victims to come forward; to help victims expose their abusers; and to assist victims in finding healing – it is also hoped that this information will assist all to ensure that such abuse never happens again,” said Bishop Earl Boyea.
Since 1937, there have been an estimated 1,654 priests who served within the Diocese of Lansing, consisting of 471 diocesan priests, 518 religious priests, and 665 who were ordained for another diocese but who have resided, even temporarily, in the Diocese of Lansing.
The list is the result of an internal review of reports of sexual abuse of minors made to the diocese over the past 82 years. It reveals that a total of 17 priests have been subject to a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor during that time: 13 diocesan priests; three priests from religious orders; and one priest from another diocese.
The list of names was compiled by diocesan staff with the assistance of the Diocese of Lansing’s Review Board for the Sexual Abuse of Minors, including past Review Board chairs.
The data reveals that for the 17 priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse, there have been 73 total allegations against these priests. The alleged victims in these reports include 66 boys, four girls; and three where the gender of the victim was unreported.
According to the Diocese of Lansing report, during the time period under review, it received a total of 155 allegations against priests alleging sexual abuse of minors. These allegations include the 73 allegations against the 17 priests credibly accused, and also allegations which were deemed to have insufficient evidence available to determine credibility, often because of the age of the report and the fact that the accused priest was already deceased. In total, that amounts to 69 clergy serving within the diocese, including those 17 credibly accused. The Diocesan Review Board is also currently considering several allegations received over the last year.
Again, the vast majority of the reports of abuse were received after 2002, and alleged abuse occurring from the 1960s to 1990s. In fact, the diocese states that there has been only been one allegation of sexual abuse of a minor alleging that the abuse occurred since 2000. That particular allegation was promptly referred to law enforcement and, in cooperation with law enforcement, determined to be a false accusation.
“I know I am not alone in feeling deep shame and sorrow upon learning of the plight of victims in recent years,” said Bishop Boyea, “I have met with many of them; all deserve our compassion, solace and support.”
“As a Church, we are deeply sorry for what happened to you. As your bishop, I offer you a profound apology for the sins of my brothers. As a diocese, we are pledged to help you find healing and peace.”
At 10:00 a.m. today Bishop Boyea is expected to speak more on the publication of the list.
6 News is anticipating livestreaming that event at www.wlns.com/livestream beginning at 10:00 a.m.