Archdiocese of Detroit – Processing Complaints

With the hope of healing for those who have been abused by members of the clergy – and in response to questions from the faithful – the Department of Communications shares an open letter from the Honorable Michael J. Talbot, Chair of the Archdiocesan Review Board, on the processing of sexual abuse complaints in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

To report sexual abuse by clergy or church representatives, go to protect.aod.org/report-abuse

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Recent reporting on the scourge of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church provides a timely catalyst to review the practices and policies in the Archdiocese of Detroit. Questions and answers, such as: What happens hereHow are complaints of the sexual abuse of minors by clergy processed in the Detroit archdiocese? And by whom? As chairman of the Archdiocesan Review Board, which considers all such complaints and then advises Archbishop of Detroit Allen Vigneron, I would like to share with you how we have handled cases here for many years. I also will describe our outreach efforts to the victims of clergy sexual abuse and our extensive and ongoing efforts to promote safe environments.

Prior to the June 2002 meeting of the U.S. Bishops in Dallas, when the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was adoptedthe Detroit archdiocese reconstituted its review board. (An earlier version of the review board was established in 1988, when the archdiocese became one of the first dioceses to implement a policy on the sexual abuse of minors by clergy.) I accepted the role of chairman of the independent board formed in 2002, and continue in that same role today. My current fellow members include a retired prosecutor, a psychologist, a health care executive, a former superintendent of Catholic schools and an archdiocesan pastor.

In the spring of 2002, the archdiocese also signed voluntary agreements with the prosecutors from all six counties within its boundaries to share case files of priests accused of sexual misconduct in previous years. In some cases, those files involved complaints of abuse that occurred in the 1940s and 1950s. Four criminal prosecutions resulted from the archdiocese sharing its files.

Importantly, this agreement with prosecutors continues to this day. Since 2002, every complaint that comes in, regardless of its source or the date of the alleged activity, is reported to civil authorities. No complaints are held back, pre-screened or disregarded. The archdiocese fully cooperates with law enforcement.

Similarly, complaints are considered by the Review Board. That process usually includes an independent investigator whose findings are forwarded to the Review Board. We currently work with two investigators: a retired police detective and a retired prosecutor. If the Review Board finds a complaint credible, it sends notice to the archbishop, who will forward the case to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), which reviews all cases involving the sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by clergy. The archdiocese considers a complaint to be credible if it has a “semblance of truth,” meaning it appears to be or could possibly be true.

No priest or deacon with a credible complaint against him is allowed to continue in active ministry during the time his case is under review by the Church or civil authorities. Those priests who are restricted and/or removed from ministry are monitored by a retired parole officer to ensure compliance with the strict limitations on their public ministry.

If an allegation against a priest or deacon is found to be credible, his name is posted on the archdiocesan website at protect.aod.org. He may also receive a permanent penalty of living a life of prayer and penance or dismissal from the clerical state, also called laicization. In either case, he may no longer represent himself as a priest or deacon, can no longer wear clerical attire and may not exercise any form of church ministry.

The archdiocese has publicly posted the names of restricted and/or removed priests and deacons for more than 15 years. Current practice also includes notifying the parishes in which the clergy in question served, as well as local media.

Complaints come to the Detroit archdiocese by verbal report via the 24/7 toll-free victim assistance line, 866-343-8055, or in writing to vac@aod.org. There are no deadlines or time limits on those who wish to make a complaint; it does not matter if the abuse occurred five, 15 or more than 50 years ago. Every effort is made by the Victim Assistance Coordinator – a credentialed social worker – to assist with healing and counseling for those who have been abused. If requested and helpful, the archbishop or his priest-delegate will meet with the victim.

We recognize that the best approach to addressing abuse is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Since 2002, the archdiocese has implemented a number of safe environment programs, all designed to identify situations that could leave a child vulnerable to the methods of sexual offenders and to emphasize the critical steps that must be taken to prevent and report the sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults.

The program for adults, called Protecting God’s Children, is mandatory for all clergy, church representatives, employees and volunteers – all those who work with children and vulnerable adults. There are also similar, age-appropriate, personal safety programs for grade school, middle school, high school and religious education students. They go by such names as Circle of Grace, Called to Serve, Called to Protect and Think First and Stay Safe.

Since 2002, more than 101,000 adults have been trained through these programs. In addition, each year we provide training for the 29,000 students in our Catholic K-12 schools and the 39,000 in Religious Education.

The archdiocese also regularly educates church and school personnel about mandatory reporting. In Michigan, professionals required to report their suspicions of child abuse or neglect to state authorities include clergy, school teachers, counselors and social workers.

Our highest priority is those who have suffered from clergy abuse. We recognize the deep trauma from their experiences, and we understand it may take a long time before an individual is ready to come forward. No matter how long it has been, we are here to listen and try to be of assistance.

Each meeting of the Review Board begins with a prayer first used in 2011 by the Archbishop of Dublin. I would like to conclude by sharing that prayer with you:

Lord,
We are so sorry 
for what some of us did to your children:
treated them so cruelly, 

especially in their hour of need.
We have left them with a lifelong suffering.
This was not your plan for them or us.
Please help us to help them.
Guide us, Lord.
Amen.

Respectfully,

Judge Michael J. Talbot (Ret.)

Chair, Archdiocesan Review Board

 

Blessed Solanus Casey – Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Blessed Solanus Casey, whose first-ever feast day we celebrate July 30, was a saintly model of God’s command for us to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

It’s not easy!  You may have heard yourself say the following at one time or another:
“My co-worker is impossible!”
“If only my kids would do their chores or my spouse help me more!”
“The drivers on 1-75 are making me crazy!”

Watch here and see the advice Blessed Solanus gives us on how we can live more peaceful and productive lives, in a spirit of cooperation with those around us.

St. John Paul II Catholic School – Registration open!

When it comes to raising their child, many parents look at the teachers at Catholic schools as partners, trusting they are teaching the same values in school as they teach at home. Catholic schools focus on instilling character so students make the right choices, no matter what their friends or others might say. Call St. John Paul II Catholic School today to talk about a Catholic Education for your child.

1590 Riverbank Street · Lincoln Park, MI 48146
Phone (313) 386-0633 · Fax (313) 928-1326

ENROLLMENT

QUALIFICATIONS FOR ENROLLMENT

Entry to St. John Paul II Catholic School is open to all families as described:

  • Families who are registered and active members of our supporting parishes of Christ the Good ShepherdOur Lady of the Scapular and St. Vincent Pallotti

  • Catholic families that do not belong to our supporting parishes, but are registered and active members of a neighboring parish without a school

  • Catholic families not currently registered in a parish

  • Non-Catholic families

Students with disabilities will be evaluated for admission on an individual basis; admission will be based upon their needs and the school’s ability to accommodate those needs.

AGE QUALIFICATIONS

  • Preschool (3 years old) – a child must have reached the age of three (3) on or before September 1st.

  • Preschool (4 years old) – a child must have reached the age of four (4) on or before September 1st.
  • Kindergarten – a child must have reached the age of five (5) on or before September 1st.

TUITION ASSISTANCE

Many people assume that a Catholic education is just too expensive.  In fact, tuition assistance and affordable payment options are available.  An investment in a quality education that will benefit your child is priceless and can be much more affordable than one would believe.

All families that are active, registered parish members at an Archdiocese of Detroit church may qualify for Private School Aid Scholarships (PSAS) for children in grades K – 8.

PSAS Enrollment forms will be available in the school office and/or you may visit the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Tuition Assistance & Scholarship page for more information regarding these programs.

School Enrollment Form – click here

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron – Christ’s victory over the sin of Racism

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In Unleash the Gospel, my pastoral letter on the New Evangelization, I wrote that “our communities are ready for renewal” and that there is “a readiness to move beyond the ways we have always done things and to think about new ways.” All of us in the Archdiocese – bishops, priests, and laity – are engaged in this renewal which, I pray, will transform our local Church into a band of joyful missionary disciples sharing the good news of Jesus Christ throughout southeast Michigan.

One of the obligations of a bishop is to provide spiritual guidance to the souls under his care. In that spirit, I will, over the coming months, share with you a series of pastoral notes which provide such guidance on issues of importance in our local Church and community, through the eyes of Unleash the Gospel. I hope that you find these notes to be of some assistance.

The first step in any renewal is repentance from sin, including the violent sin of racism. This week marks 75 years since growing racial tensions contributed to three days of civil unrest in Detroit that took the lives of 34 people and injured over 400. So today, I wish to share with you a pastoral note on Christ’s victory over the sin of racism in which I offer a few words about how we, a community of followers of Jesus Christ, can show love to everyone we meet, treat all people with dignity and respect, and work together to heal the wounds inflicted by sins of racism in our community.

Entrusting you and your families to the loving care of Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church, and to our Patron, St. Anne, I remain

Sincerely yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron

Catholic Services Appeal 2018

Archbishop’s Message

As I shared in my pastoral letter, Unleash the Gospel, each and every person in our Archdiocese is called to encounter Jesus anew, to grow daily as his disciple, and to give witness to the power of his mercy. In this spirit, the theme of the 2018 Catholic Services Appeal is Opening Doors to Grow with Christ.

Click here to watch video.

To be a disciple of Jesus Christ requires a constant process of growth, like the seed that fell on rich soil. Christians seek to be more like Jesus, to treat others as he did, to pray as he prayed, to love as he loved, and to honor God in every area of our lives. As the U.S. bishops summarized in their pastoral letter, Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response, growing as his disciples demands that we embrace stewardship as a way of life.

Each year, we have the opportunity to grow with Jesus through the CSA. As faithful stewards of God’s grace, we live out the Gospel mission of our Church when we embrace the valuable ministries, programs, and services our annual appeal supports. The CSA unites us as a faith community because no one individual or parish could possibly accomplish alone all of these good works that we are able to do together! Because of the CSA and all of the good it accomplishes, we grow with Jesus to become, in the words of Pope Francis, a “band of joyful missionary disciples.”

As you prayerfully consider your pledge to the 2018 Catholic Services Appeal, please take a moment to read and reflect on the gratitude your friends and neighbors have for the CSA and its many benefactors. I am sure you will be inspired to once again make the most generous gift possible.

The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit

Fr. Noel – Get Well Wishes

As Fr. Noel faces some health challenges, he is now back home in Ireland to decide what course of treatment is best for him.

Please keep him in your prayers.

 

If you’d like to send a little note to Fr. Noel, please mail to:

Fr. Noel O’Connor SAC

Pallottine Fathers

Sandyford Road, Dundrum, Dublin 16

Republic of Ireland

 

Online Giving News!

Our Parish is introducing Credit & Debit Card Giving in addition to Direct Debit Giving to automate your regular weekly offering.

Online Giving allows you to set up, change on-going or make a one-time donation.

1) Click here to visit our Online Giving page:  www.stvpp.org

2) Follow the instructions, create your online profile and schedule your contributions.

What is the Difference?

– Direct Debit Giving allows you to schedule transferring funds from your checking or savings account.

– Credit & Debit Card Giving allows you to schedule transferring funds from your credit or debit card account.

Click here to bring you to our Online Giving Page so you can start today!

 

Fr. Daniel Nusbaum RIP

Rev. Daniel C. Nusbaum Ph.D, 83 years, of Temperance, MI passed away peacefully on Thursday, November 9, 2017 in Ebeid Hospice, Sylvania, OH. Daniel was born on January 23, 1934 at home in Temperance, MI to Raphael and Helen (Close) Nusbaum.

He attended Central Catholic High School in Toledo, OH transferring his last year to Hope Preparatory School in Newburgh, NY. After High School he attended the International College in Rome, Italy. There he received the Ph.L and S.T.B from Gregorian University. After returning to the United States he was ordained a priest in 1961 serving as associate pastor at St. Mary’s Haines Falls, New York. In 1962 he received his M.A. in Theology from the Catholic University and an M.A. in Classical Languages, Paleography from St. Louis University. Father then completed his Ph.D in Medieval Studies at Fordham University and UCLA.

Father was a professor for 34 years at Mount St. Mary’s University and Seminary in Emmetsburg, MD. In addition to his teaching at the University, he served as campus chaplain, spiritual director, academic dean and the Chair of the Visual and Performing Arts Division. Father served as the President of the National Association of College and University Chaplains and served as an Army Chaplain at a military base in the area.  He also opened a European campus for Mount St. Mary’s in Florence, Italy and taught there for one year.

In 2003, he returned home to Temperance, MI to become the Pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish. While there he gave the parish a new Catholic Community Life, restored trust and with his “Amen” and “Alleluia” at the end of each of his homilies he aspired hope and joy to all. He started hosting the weekly God Works Program to feed the areas needy people. Father had the outdoor mass in the church cemetery for Memorial Day.

Father Daniel was a professor and spiritual advisor at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. He also served in various positions at a number of parishes in the Brooklyn, Jackson and Wyandotte area, which included St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church.   

Father is survived by his sister, Nancy Hamman; brother, Jerry Nusbaum; many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Raphael and Helen Nusbaum; brothers, Bernard, David and Norbert; sister, Mary Jane Nusbaum.

A memorial gathering was held Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church 8330 Lewis Ave. Temperance, MI where a Memorial Mass was celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Interment of ashes followed in the church cemetery with Military Honors conducted by Lambertville VFW Post 9656. Memorial donations may be made to the Rev. Daniel C. Nusbaum Visual and Performing Arts Scholarship of Mt. St. Mary’s or to Our Lady of Mount Carmel God Works. Funeral arrangements entrusted to the Urbanski’s Bedford Funeral Chapel.

Condolences may be sent to his niece, Kathleen Meyer, 882 Dempster Street, Temperance, MI 48182.