This week, the criminal trials of Father Robert DeLand are scheduled to begin. We are confident that the criminal justice system will bring about justice for all. We respect the work of our local law enforcement and will continue to cooperate with their efforts.
These past months have been a difficult time for those who brought forth their complaints, their families and many in the community. While the difficulty and uncertainty will continue for some time, I share your deep concern for all those affected by the tragedy of sexual abuse.
In these difficult days, I want to assure you of our steadfast and ongoing commitment to the protection of young people and the community. We will not waver in our efforts to ensure the safety of minors and all those entrusted to our care.
Also, please know that we continue to take our responsibility seriously to work to prevent abuse to any individual, young or old, and to assist victims in their healing.
Since 2002, more than 12,000 people in the diocese have participated in training on the prevention of child abuse and have undergone state and federal background checks.
We encourage anyone who has been a victim of abuse or has reason to believe abuse has occurred to contact the Attorney General’s hotline 844-324-3374. We will continue to cooperate with the efforts that are underway in the various diocese of Michigan, as well as with local law enforcement.
Because some have asked, I want to assure you that your Catholic Services Appeal contributions, and local church support of our parishes and the diocese, are not used for legal fees for clergy abuse cases.
As people of faith, we know God walks with us on this journey and we find hope in His presence. I ask for your continued prayers for healing and justice. And, I thank you for your prayers and understanding.
My good wishes to all…
Most Reverend Walter A. Hurley