The Archdiocese of Detroit places no deadlines or time limits when investigating allegations of 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. Since 2002, every complaint of abuse has immediately been turned over to civil authorities, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred. Also that year, the archdiocese turned over to civil authorities its files relating to allegations of abuse from previous years.
Similarly, complaints are considered by the Review Board. For more information about this process, please click these links:
- 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
- Detroit Catholic: Independent review, lifelong monitoring of priests part of Archdiocese of Detroit’s response to abuse
- Current members of the Archdiocese of Detroit Review Board
When investigating complaints, the Archdiocese of Detroit follows guidelines set by the U.S. Bishops to direct our policy on sexual abuse issues:
- USCCB Charter for the Protection of Children & Young People
- FAQ's Regarding the Protection of Children & Young People Under the Charter
- Archdiocese of Detroit Policy on Sexual Abuse
When considering allegations of sexual abuse by clergy, we refer to guidelines on the permanent removal of priests:
- Guidelines on Removal of Priests
- FAQs Regarding the Canonical Process for the Resolution of Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests and Deacons
The Archdiocese of Detroit will temporarily remove from ministry any priest or deacon who is under investigation for a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult. As part of the investigation, every case is sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith in Rome, which has sole authority in adjudicating the case and in authorizing the imposition of a permanent penalty of a life of prayer and penance or dismissal from the clerical state.