Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on actions taken by Michigan’s new Attorney General that are disturbing:
Dana Nessel, Michigan’s new Attorney General, is not off to a good start with Catholics. Last week, she held a press conference where she insulted Catholics. Her topic was a state investigation into allegations of Catholic clergy sexual abuse. She threw a sucker punch at Catholics by telling residents to “ask to see their badge and not their rosary” when contacted by investigators.
Why hasn’t Nessel launched an investigation of every institution, religious and secular, where adults intermingle with minors on a regular basis? Why did she cherry pick Catholic ones?
Would she allow the authorities to contact residents seeking information about street crime committed by African Americans? Wouldn’t that be racial profiling? And would she make a racial slur at a press conference on this subject?
By singling out Catholic institutions, Nessel is engaging in religious profiling. The only entity in the state, besides Catholic ones, that she is pursing over allegations of sexual abuse is Michigan State University, home of the infamous Larry Nassar crimes and the cover up by university officials.
Is Nessel aware of the fact that the sexual abuse of minors is rampant in Michigan? In 2017, Michigan ranked 6th in the number of reported cases of human trafficking according to CARE House. In 2016, USA Today published a major story on how the 50 states deal with the sexual abuse of minors in the public schools. Michigan received an “F.”
The newspaper noted the failings by reporting that “Weak screening, left to local school districts” was commonplace. “No information online about teacher disciplinary actions” was noted. Perhaps worst of all was the finding that “Some teachers’ misconduct [was] not shared with other states.” So Michigan just “passed the trash,” as it is known in the public school industry.
Michigan gets a failing grade for handling sexual abuse cases in the public schools and Nessel gives them a pass! It is almost too hard to believe. It proves that she is not interested in combating sexual abuse, for if she were she wouldn’t let public schools off the hook.
Further proof that Nessel discriminates against Catholics can be shown by accessing her website. Under “Initiatives” she lists five issues, the first of which is “Catholic Church Clergy Abuse.” She even has a form where the public can submit information about alleged offenses. There is a similar form that applies to Michigan State University, but there is no form for anyone else.
The Catholic Church does not own this problem. More important, it has made such great strides in recent decades that it is almost non-existent in this country today. The same is not true of other institutions.
To acquaint Nessel with the scope of the problem, we have compiled a tally of recent cases. Abusers include teachers, administrators, doctors, lawyers, family members, online predators, and law enforcement personnel. We have even included a list of recidivists, or repeat offenders. To read our tally, click here.
Contact Kelly Rossman-McKinney, Nessel’s director of communications: firstname.lastname@example.org