Gaylord Diocesan Watch has learned that Fr. Bryan Medlin has been removed from Cross in the Woods Parish in Indian River. Supposedly, Fr. Medlin left for “personal reasons”. However, Gaylord Diocesan Watch has also learned that an investigation is ongoing regarding allegations that Fr. Medlin was inappropriately texting minors. This is alarming on multiple fronts, including the fact that Fr. Medlin was Associate Vocations Director for the Diocese of Gaylord. Of obvious concern is what type of inappropriate communications Fr. Medlin may have had with minors and what extent was the involvement Fr. Medlin has with these individuals.

Fr. Medlin was made pastor of Cross in the Woods after less than 3 years as pastor of St. Mary Church in Leelanau.  This brings up significant questions as to whether or not Fr. Medlin was moved due to some type of impropriety at St. Mary. It also brings significant questions regarding the leadership of Bishop Walter Hurley, the current Administrator of the Diocese of Gaylord.  When was Bishop Hurley made aware of the allegations? Why have parents in the Diocese not been made aware of the allegations which our sources tell us could have spanned years? Is this yet another example of the faithful being left in the dark while a member of the clergy is investigated for potentially damaging behavior toward children? Bishop Hurley has a reputation for covering up abusers (Fr. Gerald Shirilla, a defrocked abuser, was sent to the Gaylord Diocese from the Archdiocese of Detroit during the time Bishop Hurley was in charge of clergy discipline for the Archdiocese. Shortly after his move to Gaylord, Shirilla was removed from ministry due to credible accusations of multiple cases of abuse). Is this another case of episcopal malfeasance? Did Fr. Medlin get moved to hide a problem?

As of this writing, the Diocese of Gaylord has not replied to our request for further information. Gaylord Diocesan Watch is not passing judgement on Fr. Medlin. Rather, we need to inform the faithful of the Diocese of a possible concern regarding this priest, especially those who may have had children associated with Fr. Medlin. We are obligated to take this step due to the track record of this Diocese (and other dioceses) not informing Catholics of potentially dangerous situations regarding diocesan personnel. Please keep Fr. Medlin and all of the priests of our Diocese in your prayers. Please also pray that the Diocese, which requests our money and the involvement of our children, will be transparent and accountable for the actions of priests and employees of the Diocese.