Clergy Credibly Accused of Abuse

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Categories Glossary of terms

The Archdiocese of Detroit firmly believes transparency is key to healing; this value is at the center of our pledge to listen to victims of clergy sexual abuse, act on the information they provide and to do everything in our power to atone for past wrongs.

As part of this commitment, the Archdiocese in 2002 first posted publicly the names of archdiocesan clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. In the years since 2002, the Archdiocese has added to the list names of priests credibly accused after their death. The Archdiocese considers a complaint to be credible, or substantiated, if it has a “semblance of truth,” meaning it appears to be or could possibly be true. This is a lower standard of proof than those used in civil and criminal proceedings, (preponderance of evidence and beyond a reasonable doubt, respectively).

Individuals on the lists below who are still living are prohibited from engaging in any form of public ministry or presenting themselves publicly as priests. Individuals are listed alongside their current status with the Archdiocese of Detroit.

In addition, we list any religious order clerics who served in southeast Michigan and were credibly accused of abuse, either locally or in another area. These allegations were found to be credible by the religious order under whom each individual served. Please note that as religious orders function independently from any archdiocese or diocese, including in matters of reviewing abuse complaints, this list is dependent upon the Archdiocese receiving notification from a religious order of an individual’s restriction and/or removal from ministry.

Allegations against individuals on the lists below were corroborated either by secular legal proceedings, canon (Church) law proceedings, self-admission by the individual or threshold evidence. However, there remains a presumption of innocence until and unless an individual is found guilty in secular or Church proceedings.

We provide these lists in the hope that it provides some measure of peace to victims. It is also our prayer that those who have not yet shared their abuse may find the strength to step forward, knowing we will listen.

We continually update these lists with the intention of keeping them as updated and accurate as possible. Individuals with knowledge of sexual abuse by clergy or other Church representatives are urged to contact local law enforcement and/or the Michigan Attorney General’s Office. Individuals also may contact the Archdiocese of Detroit by visiting protect.aod.org, calling the toll-free, 24/7 victim assistance line at (866) 343-8055 or by emailing vac@aod.org. There are no time limits or restrictions on individuals wishing to report abuse.



Categories

  • Cases Concluded

    Cases that have been concluded canonically (by dismissal from the clerical state or a sentence of prayer and penance), or criminally (by plea or conviction). 

    This section contains the names of priests incardinated in the Archdiocese of Detroit who have been found guilty of sexually abusing a minor, by the Holy See and/or by civil authorities. With respect to the canonical process involving the Holy See, the priests whose names are included in this section either: (1) admitted to sexually abusing a minor; (2) were dismissed from the clerical state; (3) voluntarily sought and obtained laicization after an admission of guilt or in lieu of dismissal; and/or (4) were assigned to a life of prayer and penance, with no public ministry possible. With respect to criminal convictions, the priests whose names are included in this section were convicted after a criminal trial or pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a minor.

    NameStatus
    Harry BenjaminDismissed from the clerical state
    Edmund Borycz
    Deceased, previously removed from public ministry
    William BrennanDeceased, previously removed from public ministry
    Gary BuechePermanently removed from public ministry
    Robert BurkholderDeceased, previously removed from public ministry
    Anthony ContiDeceased, previously dismissed from the clerical state
    Michael DalyDeceased, previously removed from public ministry
    Pat DeAngeloDeceased, previously removed from public ministry
    Harold DeppLeft active ministry
    Dennis DugganDismissed from the clerical state
    Lawrence EdwardsDeceased, previously removed from public ministry
    Jude EllinghausenDismissed from the clerical state
    Joseph FemminineoPermanently removed from ministry
    Louis GrandpreDeceased, previously removed from ministry
    Robert HaenerPermanently removed from ministry
    Albert HillebrandDeceased, previously removed from public ministry
    C. Richard KellyPermanently removed from ministry
    Dennis LaeschPermanently removed from ministry
    Walter LezuchowskiDeceased, previously removed from public ministry
    Michael MalawyDeceased, previously removed from public ministry
    Dennis MartellDeceased, previously dismissed from the clerical state
    Alfred MillerPermanently removed from ministry
    Frank Mullen, former deaconDismissed from the clerical state
    Timothy MurrayPermanently removed from ministry
    Loren O'DeaDeceased, previously removed from public ministry
    Ralph QuaneDismissed from the clerical state
    Gary SchultePermanently removed from ministry
    Joseph SitoDeceased, previously laicized
    Timothy SzottDeceased, previously removed from public ministry
    Peter Van der LindenDeceased, previously removed from public ministry
    Gerald VesnaughCriminally convicted
    Ronald WilliamsDeceased, previously removed from public ministry
    James WysockiPermanently removed from ministry
    Robert WyzgoskiDeceased, previously removed from public ministry

  • Religious Orders and Other Dioceses

    Cases involving priests of religious orders, eparchies, or other dioceses, who lived in the Archdiocese of Detroit and/or were assigned by the Archbishop of Detroit to ministry.

    This section includes the names of priests who served in ministry or otherwise lived in the Archdiocese of Detroit, but were not incardinated in the Archdiocese of Detroit, who were named in an accusation of sexual abuse of a minor. This includes priests of religious orders, eparchies and other dioceses or archdioceses. When such complaints were received by the Archdiocese, the Archdiocese reported the accusation to the priest’s religious superior, eparch, or bishop to process the case; because these individuals were not incardinated in the Archdiocese of Detroit, the Archdiocese did not have jurisdiction to review the cases. The Archdiocese did ensure that allegations it received were reported to law enforcement and the Michigan Attorney General's Office. The priests in this section no longer are in ministry in the Archdiocese of Detroit. The Archdiocese has decided to list these names in the interest of transparency and healing. Please note that as religious orders, arch/dioceses and eparchies function independently from each other, including in matters of abuse, this list is dependent upon the Archdiocese receiving notification of an individual’s restriction and/or removal from ministry. More information about each individual's current status is available through the respective religious orders, eparchies and dioceses.

    NameAffiliation
    Gary BerthiaumeDiocese of Cleveland 
    Richard T. BrownDiocese of Dallas
    William Cahill, SJSociety of Jesus (Jesuit)
    Luis Javier de Alba CamposDiocese of San Juan de los Lagos, Mexico
    Anthony CipollaDiocese of Pittsburgh
    Art Cooney, OFM Cap Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph
    Neil Emon, OSC Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross (Crosier)
    Steven Henrich, OSC Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross (Crosier)
    Mel Hermanns, OFM CapCapuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph
    Vincent Holden, CSP The Missionary Society of Saint Paul the Apostle (Paulist Father)
    Thomas Johnston, OPOrder of Preachers (Dominican)
    Neil Kalina, PIME The Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME)
    Donald Kurcz, OFM Cap Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph
    James Kurtz, SJSociety of Jesus (Jesuit)
    John Edward MartinDiocese of Lansing
    Bruce Maxwell, OSC Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross (Crosier)
    Patrick McLaughlin, SJSociety of Jesus (Jesuits)
    John McManus, SSSociety of the Priests of St. Sulpice (Sulpician)
    Dennis Mitchell, CSP The Missionary Society of Saint Paul the Apostle (Paulist Father)
    Jim Moeglein, OSC Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross (Crosier)
    John Newton, CPPSMissionaries of the Precious Blood
    Thomas O’Brien, OSC Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross (Crosier)
    Edward OlszewskiArchdiocese of Miami
    Donald J. O'Shaughnessy, SJSociety of Jesus (Jesuits)
    John Powell, SJ Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
    Herbert RicheyDiocese of Toledo
    James Roth, OSFSOblates of St. Francis de Sales
    Wendelin Schafer, OFM Cap Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph
    Austin Schlaefer, OFM Cap Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph
    Jason SiglerArchdiocese of Winnipeg
    Father Joseph SkeltonDiocese of Taglibaran
    Joseph Smetana, OFM Cap Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph
    Gerald Smola, SJ Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
    Robert Spader, OFM CapCapuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph
    Robert Spangenberg, C.S.Sp.Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritan)
    Francis Mary Sparacino, OFM Cap Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph
    Kenneth Stewart, OFM Cap Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph
    Chester Vincent TomasewskiDiocese of Lansing
    Chet Warren, OSFSOblates of St. Francis de Sales
    James Wolf, OFM Cap Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph
    Darius WyszynskiDiocese of Lansing
    Ronald Yarrosh, PIME The Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME)
    Hillary Zach, OFM Cap Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph
  • Deceased Priests

    Cases involving deceased priests for whom criminal and/or canonical proceedings were not completed.

    There has not been a final determination either under canon (Church) or civil law whether the priests listed in this section are guilty of sexually abusing a minor. Consistent with the principles of the American justice system and Church law, these individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    This section includes the names of deceased priests of the Archdiocese of Detroit who were accused of sexually abusing a minor and for whom criminal or canonical proceedings were not completed – in many cases, because either the allegation(s) were received only after the priest's death or the priest died before the conclusion of the proceedings. This list does not contain the names of priests who were identified in reports that were investigated and where the investigation concluded that there was insufficient evidence to establish the probability that the accused priest had sexually abused a minor. This list likewise does not include priests who were accused of sexually abusing a minor if a single report has been made after the death of the priest and the report was not investigated; this may occur, for example, when a report is anonymous or when a victim declines to cooperate with an investigation. As with all cases on these lists, the cases nevertheless were reported to law enforcement and the Michigan Attorney General's Office.

    NameStatus
    Thomas CainDeceased
    Arthur Michael KareyDeceased
    Lawrence NawrockiDeceased
    Thaddeus OzogDeceased
    Thomas PhysicianDeceased
    Gerald ShirillaDeceased
    Jan (John) TyminskiDeceased
    David WestDeceased

  • Priests Accused After Laicization

    Cases involving priests who were accused after they voluntarily returned to the lay state, for reasons other than sexual abuse of a minor.

    There has not been a final determination either under canon (Church) or civil law whether the priests listed in this section are guilty of sexually abusing a minor. Consistent with the principles of the American justice system and Church law, these individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    Included in this section are the names of priests of the Archdiocese of Detroit who had already voluntarily sought and were granted separation from the clerical state (and therefore were no longer priests) before the Archdiocese of Detroit received a report of an accusation that they had sexually abused a minor. An example would be a priest who sought and obtained laicization in order to marry. Because these priests had already been returned to the lay state, their cases could not be processed canonically. However, as with all cases on these lists, these cases were reported to law enforcement and the Michigan Attorney General's Office.

    NameStatus
    Richard LauingerLaicized (voluntarily) 1975

  • Cases in Process

    Cases involving living diocesan priests, whose canonical proceedings have not yet been resolved.

    There has not been a final determination either under canon (Church) or civil law whether the clergy listed in this section are guilty of sexually abusing a minor. Consistent with the principles of the American justice system and Church law, these individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    Included in this section are the names of priests of the Archdiocese of Detroit who have been publicly accused of sexually abusing a minor, but the canonical and/or civil proceedings involving those priests are not yet complete. The priests in this section are prohibited from engaging in public ministry and may not publicly identify themselves as priests.

    NameStatus
    Joseph (Jack) BakerRestricted from public ministry
    Patrick CaseyRestricted from public ministry
    Eduard PerroneRestricted from public ministry
    Robert WitkowskiRestricted from public ministry
    Lawrence VentlineRestricted from public ministry
  • Under investigation by civil authorities

    Cases involving priests publicly named in civil investigations.

    This section includes names of priests who have been publicly named in civil investigations into allegations of clergy sexual abuse. This list includes individuals who served within the Archdiocese of Detroit after being ordained as priests or deacons for the Archdiocese of Detroit, another arch/diocese or religious order. Please note that we are able to add names to this category only after an investigation is publicized by the agency conducting the investigation.

    NameStatus
    Joseph (Jack) BakerRestricted from public ministry
    Patrick CaseyPleaded guilty to aggravated assault; restricted from public ministry
    Neil KalinaLeft active ministry
    Lawrence VentlineRestricted from public ministry



Glossary of terms

Credible allegation
When the Archdiocese of Detroit receives an allegation of abuse against a child or vulnerable adult, its first action is to report the complaint to civil authorities, regardless of the source of the complaint or the date of the alleged activity. No complaints are held back, pre-screened or disregarded. When the Archdiocese is notified by civil authorities that it may proceed, the archdiocesan Review Board considers the allegation. The Review Board considers a credible allegation to be one with a “semblance of truth,” meaning it appears to be or could possibly be true. There remains a presumption of innocence until and unless an individual is found guilty in secular or Church proceedings.

Restricted from Public Ministry
No priest or deacon with a credible allegation against him is permitted to continue in public ministry during the time his case is pending with Church or civil authorities. These individuals are temporarily restricted from public ministry pending the outcome of any civil and Church procedures. Once an allegation is deemed credible by the Archdiocese of Detroit, Archbishop Vigneron forwards the case to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). After a review of the case, the CDF will authorize a canonical trial or administrative process to render a judgment about the guilt or innocence of a priest accused of the sexual abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult. There remains a presumption of innocence until and unless an individual is found guilty in civil or Church proceedings.

While restricted from ministry, individuals may not represent themselves as priests or deacons, wear clerical attire or exercise any form of public ministry. The Archdiocese remains in contact with restricted priests and deacons to verify compliance with the strict limitations on their public ministry.

Permanently Removed from Public Ministry 
Individuals who are found guilty of sexual abuse of minors or vulnerable adults by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith may be permanently removed from public ministry. These individuals are permanently prohibited from representing themselves as priests or deacons, wearing clerical attire and exercising any form of public ministry. They are monitored by a retired parole officer to verify compliance with these severe limitations on their public ministry.

Dismissed from the clerical state, or laicized
Individuals who are found guilty of sexual abuse of minors or vulnerable adults by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith may be dismissed from the clerical state, also known as laicized by the Holy See. This has been informally referred to in secular society as “being defrocked.” Like those removed from public ministry, these individuals are permanently prohibited from representing themselves as priests or deacons, wearing clerical attire and exercising any form of Church ministry.