Detroit Archdiocese Responds to Cases Involving Clergy Sexual Abuse

Dec 22, 2004, 00:00 ET from Archdiocese of Detroit

    DETROIT, Dec. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- This month, the Archdiocese of Detroit
 has been involved in two separate court rulings relating to the issue of
 clerical sexual abuse.  On Tuesday, December 21st, in a two-to-one ruling, the
 Michigan Court of Appeals rejected an effort to suspend the statute of
 limitations in a case involving the Detroit archdiocese.  The lower court
 ruling, if allowed to stand, would have impacted not only Catholic clergy, but
 possibly any number of institutions and professions, including doctors,
 lawyers and teachers.  The following is a statement from the archdiocesan
 director of communications on the Appeals Court ruling:
     "We are grateful the Court of Appeals accepted the legal argument
 presented.  Our state and its citizens have been well served by the statute of
 limitations; it provides a reasonable amount of time for individuals to pursue
 civil complaints.
     "In the specific 'John Doe' case involved here, we note that the
 complainant has not yet contacted the Victim Assistance Coordinator for the
 archdiocese, but is certainly welcome to.  In the Detroit archdiocese, our
 policy on sexual abuse involving members of the clergy was first published in
 1988; it contains no time restrictions or 'statute of limitations' on bringing
 forward a complaint.  The archdiocese is willing to provide -- and is
 currently providing -- assistance to those who have been victims of clerical
 sexual abuse.  And, we remain firmly committed to providing a safe environment
 for our children and our communities.  Information on our policy and practices
 -- along with additional resource material -- is posted on the archdiocesan
 web site: , select Promise to Protect. Pledge to
                                 Ned McGrath
                                 Director of Communications
                                 Archdiocese of Detroit
                                 December 22, 2004
     On December 3rd, an attempt to have a lawsuit brought by four plaintiffs
 against the Detroit archdiocese certified as a class-action suit was rejected
 in Wayne County Circuit Court.  In The Michigan Catholic newspaper of
 December 9th, McGrath stated: "Our attorneys argued successfully that it makes
 no sense to have a class-action suit where a mini-trial would have to be
 conducted on the validity of each plaintiff's allegations."

SOURCE Archdiocese of Detroit