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Regarding the Archdiocese of Detroit's List of Clergy Credibly Accused of Abuse

The Archdiocese of Detroit was made aware today of concerns over the names of religious order priests not included on its list of clergy credibly accused of abuse.

As a result of these concerns, the archdiocese will carefully re-examine each name on our current list as well as the source information provided by the religious orders. If we discover any oversight on our part, it will be corrected immediately.

The Detroit archdiocese welcomes any assistance and updates from members of the community in our efforts to keep our information updated and accurate.

For information on how the archdiocese works to prevent and respond to sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults, please visit protect.aod.org.


CLINIC says South Sudan TPS extension should have included new arrivals

IMAGE: CNS photo/Andreea Campeanu, Reuters

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SILVER SPRING, Md. (CNS) -- Officials with the Catholic Legal Immigration Network criticized the federal Department of Homeland Security for its March 8 decision granting an 18-month extension of Temporary Protected Status for South Sudan because it does not include recent arrivals from the war-plagued country.

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced the TPS extension would cover only the 84 South Sudan refugees who currently benefit from the program and have been in the United States since Jan. 25, 2016.

To include the new arrivals from South Sudan, Nielsen would have had to "redesignate" the TPS program, a decision that CLINIC's executive director called "morally reprehensible."

"South Sudan is experiencing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world," said Anna Gallagher, head of CLINIC since February, in a March 8 statement. "This conflict is notorious for the violent targeting of civilians as well as sexual and gender-based violence regularly used as a weapon of war."

"Redesignation would have been in keeping with the law and congressional intent," Jill Marie Bussey, CLINIC director of advocacy, said March 8. "Redesignation would have allowed people who have more recently fled from the conflict to apply for protection. That could be hundreds of people. South Sudanese who currently have TPS and more recent arrivals from South Sudan are in equal need of protection and safety. This is why TPS exists."

The Christian and animist population South Sudan, which became independent from Sudan in 2011, had prior to independence been routinely been subjected to targeting and deprivation from Sudanese military forces, especially in the Darfur region.

Today, though, South Sudan has an ongoing civil war, massive displacement and a devastating food insecurity crisis. It also lacks clean water, a viable health care system and suffers from inadequate public infrastructure.

Nielsen's extension of TPS to the 84 South Sudan refugees who currently qualify for it, came five days after the legal deadline of March 3. To be eligible under the current designation, "along with meeting the other eligibility requirements," these individuals must have continuously resided in the United States since Jan. 25, 2016, and have been continuously physically present in the United States since May 3, 2016, according to a DHS news release.

They can "register for an extension of their status for 18 months," which goes through Nov. 2, 2020, the agency said. "Prior to the conclusion of the 18-month extension, the secretary will review conditions in South Sudan to determine whether the TPS designation should be extended again or terminated."

CLINIC, which is based in the Washington suburb of Silver Spring, was among the more than 300 organizations and individuals across the religious spectrum who signed a letter in February asking Nielsen to grant an 18-month extension to current TPS beneficiaries from South Sudan status and redesignate TPS for the African nation.

A statistical analysis issued last September by a five-member team from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said the conflict in South Sudan has likely led to 400,000 "excess deaths" since the civil war began in 2013, close to half of them in 2016-17 alone.

The findings, the study said, "point to a conflict that, for civilians, has been arguably even more violent than has been reported, and that has caused massive waves of displacement. Violence itself appears to be the key driver of overall mortality and of deaths indirectly attributable to the war."

 

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Reverend Robert McCabe appointed Pastor of Divine Child Parish, Dearborn

Reverend Robert McCabe appointed Pastor of Divine Child Parish, Dearborn, effective July 1, 2019. Father McCabe is currently serving as Pastor of St. Pius X Parish, Southgate. 

Reverend Lawrence Zurawski appointed Pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish

Reverend Lawrence Zurawski appointed Pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Garden City, effective July 1, 2019. Father Zurawski is currently serving as Pastor of St. Therese of Lisieux Parish, Shelby Township. 

Reverend Bradley Forintos

Reverend Bradley Forintos appointed Pastor of Holy Trinity Parish, Port Huron, effective July 1, 2019. Father Forintos is currently serving as Associate Pastor of Our Lady on the River Parish, Marine City.

Archdiocese of Detroit Responds to Michigan Attorney General Update on Investigation into Michigan Catholic Dioceses

The Archdiocese of Detroit appreciates the Attorney General’s Office for providing an update today regarding its investigation. We also would like to add a few points of clarification.

  • Since 2002, the Archdiocese of Detroit has not entered into any non-disclosure agreements, unless specifically requested by a survivor of abuse, as required by the Catholic Church in the United States. In addition, the archdiocese does not enforce any non-disclosure agreements signed prior to 2002. We encourage all abuse survivors to share their stories.
  • The Archdiocese of Detroit does not self-police. We encourage all victims to report abuse directly to law enforcement. When we learn of an allegation of sexual abuse of minors, we immediately notify law enforcement authorities, in accordance with the agreements we have had in place with them since 2002, when we shared past case files involving clergy misconduct and committed to turning over all new allegations regardless of when the alleged abuse occurred. We then follow law enforcement’s lead to step aside and assist, when requested, during any criminal investigation.
  • The Archdiocese of Detroit has not been asked by the Attorney General’s Office to stop its internal review process. These internal investigations are required under Church law, and their purpose is to restrict or remove from ministry anyone who has committed sexual abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult. The Archdiocese of Detroit places no deadlines or time limits on those who wish to report the sexual abuse of minors by priests, deacons and other personnel. Be it five, 15, or 50 years later, our diocese accepts and responds to all reports – and immediately shares them with law enforcement.
  • Clergy with credible accusations against them do not belong in ministry. Since the Attorney General’s investigation began, the Archdiocese of Detroit has not received notification from that office regarding credible accusations against any of our priests. Should we become aware of such a complaint, we will act immediately.
  • The State of Michigan’s mandated reporting laws have been in place for decades. Through the years, we have strongly supported expansions to the list, including the addition of clergy. The Archdiocese of Detroit regularly educates all mandated reporters of their duties to report sexual abuse or neglect of minors.
  • When the Archdiocese of Detroit became aware of the Attorney General’s request for parishes to publicize the state’s tip-line, we immediately offered to help our parishes facilitate the publication of that material.
  • The Archdiocese of Detroit looks forward to working with the Attorney General’s Office to clarify some of the broad generalizations made during today’s press conference.

The Archdiocese of Detroit offers continued prayers and sorrow for all victim-survivors and their families. One sinful, criminal act, especially against God’s most vulnerable and trusting children, is unacceptable and one suffering soul too many. We remain committed to preventing sexual abuse against anyone - especially children and vulnerable adults.
 
Editor’s Note: For additional information about how the Archdiocese of Detroit works to prevent and respond to sexual abuse of minors or vulnerable adults, please visit protect.aod.org

Regarding the Vatican summit on sexual abuse

The Department of Communications of the Archdiocese of Detroit shares the following message from Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, regarding the Vatican summit on sexual abuse:
 

As the Holy Father and my brother bishops gather in Rome to carefully examine our response to the scourge of clergy sexual abuse, may their eyes remain fixed on the path of responsibility, accountability and transparency.
  Here in the Archdiocese of Detroit, guided by the Holy Spirit, I commit to continuing our work toward healing for victim-survivors and safety for all in our community.

 
The summit at the Vatican is a gathering of the presidents from national bishops' conferences, the heads of the Eastern Catholic churches, religious order superiors and Vatican officials. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), is attending on behalf of the bishops of the United States.
 
In addition, Cardinal Blaise Cupich of Chicago is attending as one of the event’s organizers, and Cardinal Seán O'Malley of Boston is attending in his role as President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
 
To report sexual abuse by clergy or church representatives, contact local authorities or go to protect.aod.org.

Pope Francis approves miracle attributed to Blessed Newman, clearing way for sainthood

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has signed a decree recognizing a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed John Henry Newman, the English cardinal, clearing the way for his canonization.

The Vatican announced Feb. 13 that Pope Francis had signed the decree the day before.

Read the full article at the Detroit Catholic.

Archbishop, Catholic schools office release bold vision to ‘unleash our Catholic schools’

Addressing about 150 principals, pastors and Catholic school leaders Jan. 29 at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Archbishop Vigneron announced a bold, new vision for Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Detroit, challenging the Church to embark on a journey of renewal and re-invention with Catholic schools as the face of a missionary movement.

Reverend Athanasius Fornwalt, FHS

Reverend Athanasius Fornwalt, FHS appointed Administrator of St. Mary of Redford Parish, Detroit, effective July 1, 2019.