The Michigan Attorney General has released a report on sexual abuse in the Diocese of Gaylord titled, ” Diocese of Gaylord A Complete Accounting”. Gaylord Diocesan Watch has reviewed the report. Our findings are given as a series of articles. These articles contain sensitive material that may not be suitable for non-adult audiences. Gaylord Diocesan Watch is committed to spreading truth for the good of the Gaylord Diocese. It is our desire to describe the following information with as much respect and charity as possible. In addition to the links in articles, interested individuals may find the Attorney General’s Report in our Document Library.
The recent Michigan Attorney General’s report on sexual abuse
in the Gaylord Diocese reviewed the tragic saga of Father Bryan Medlin (page 70). It was in 2019 when the first allegation regarding Father Medlin occurred. This was under the then Bishop of the Diocese Steven Raica. Nothing was done. Then, in 2021, multiple additional allegations surfaced. Bishop Hurley (temporary administrator after Bishop Raica), in what can now be viewed tragically as typical bishop coverup behavior, moved Fr. Medlin out of St. Mary of the Assumption and its K – 12 school to Cross in the Woods Shrine parish. But the obfuscation didn’t work; when Fr. Medlin’s antics of texting pornographic material to high school students went public, and only after it went public, Medlin was taken out of ministry.
Bishops these days are quick to say that abuse cases are almost all in the past; but the case of Fr. Medlin, as well as other cases noted on our website, is anything but that. What is worse is that the lines of communication between faithful Catholics and priest/bishop are wholly inadequate. If these issues were addressed by concerned individuals by notifying those in charge as soon as they occurred, and then dealt with appropriately by supervisors (bishops), then most, if not all, of these problems could be quietly dealt with so that the dirty laundry of the Church would not need to be aired for enemies of the Church to misuse. Sadly and ironically, it has taken a state government official to do more to potentially right the ship of abuse in our Diocese than anything our bishops have done since the Diocese of Gaylord was established. Will Bishop Walsh learn from this? Will he evolve his stand not to talk to team members of Gaylord Diocesan Watch? If the Diocese had appropriately acted on these issues, there would be no reason for Gaylord Diocesan Watch to exist. But as long as the situation remains as is, Gaylord Diocesan Watch must continue its mission to aid the Diocese on issues of concern and for the good of the Diocese.
The Diocese has announced “listening sessions” regarding the issue of sexual abuse. These sessions are scheduled as follows (from the Diocesan website). We encourage our readers to participate and give us their experiences:
Listening Sessions with Bishop Walsh
Bishop Jeffrey Walsh invites the faithful to Listening Sessions to address concerns and answer questions about the recently released Michigan Attorney General’s Report on clergy sexual abuse. These sessions will include discussion and prayer.
Join Bishop Walsh at any of the following Listening Sessions:
· Jan. 29, 6 pm, All Saints, Parish Hall, in Alpena
· Feb. 4, 3 pm, Immaculate Conception, Parish Hall, Traverse City
· Feb. 5, 6 pm, St. Joseph, School Cafeteria, West Branch
For more information, contact the Diocesan Communications Office at 989-732-5147 or email firstname.lastname@example.org