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State AG: Catholic diocese under investigation for clergy sex abuse statewide

WEST MICHIGAN — The state Attorney General’s office said it’s investigating Michigan’s seven catholic diocese on how clergy sex abuse allegations have been handled.

Department spokeswoman, Andrea Bitely, confirmed the investigation was launched in August. The focus includes allegations of sex abuse and assault against children dating back to 1950. The catholic church is accused of covering up sex crimes committed by priests.

In a statement, the Diocese of Kalamazoo said in part, “As we detailed in our ‘A Plan to Protect’, announced by Bishop Bradley on September 14, we are committed to taking additional measures to ensure the protection of all people even as we do all that we can to support and care for the well-being of all survivors of clergy sexual abuse.”

The Diocese of Grand Rapids said policies put in place in 2002 “have been proven to work”.

“The last reported case of clergy abuse in the Diocese of Grand Rapids was prior to 2002. We look forward to sharing how we have implemented these policies and procedures with the department of the attorney general and ensuring that best practices are in place.”

Wednesday, the Grand Rapids diocese held a service at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew. It was called the Holy Hour of Healing for sexual abuse survivors and “reparations for the sins of clergy”.

The Kalamazoo diocese said it also has three masses for Reparation and Healing scheduled in the coming weeks. The Attorney General’s office encourages any victims, their families or witnesses to come forward. They can do so confidentially online or by calling 844.324.3374 during business hours.

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