Gaylord Diocesan Watch has received at least two reports from Catholics who attend St. Anne Church in Cadillac that various members of the parish have been told Father Cowan was given an offer to return to ministry at St. Anne but he “chose not to”. Although we are not able to obtain the specific communication between Bishop Raica and Father Cowan, sources close to these individuals state this is clearly not true.
What is not rumor is the good news that the Vatican has agreed to hear Father Cowan’s case. His canon lawyer was in Rome this month. Vatican reviewers could have chosen to dismiss Father Cowan’s appeal of his suspension but instead, they will further review his situation. This is a positive development for all of us concerned with the welfare of Father Cowan.
In other whistleblower cases, the whistleblower is often isolated and heavily charged with a minor offense (such as a process crime), then subjected to a host of humiliating demands including being directed to psychological “rehabilitation” , prior to being allowed to return to active ministry (if at all). If the whistleblower refuses, then the case is directed to the Vatican for review. This seems to be the case with Father Cowan. The Vatican has its own judiciary and a review of Father Cowan’s case could take months or years. Hopefully, for the sake of the Diocese, a resolution of his case will be completed soon. Father Cowan remains suspended, not allowed to minister in the Diocese, and is only allowed to say mass at home. Please continue to pray for him, Bishop Raica, and all the clergy of our diocese. We will continue to closely monitor this situation and keep you informed as new developments occur.