Bill Donohue

Imagine if a state attorney general decided to investigate violent crimes that have been committed over a half-century ago, especially cold cases, hoping to prosecute as many as possible. Imagine if it dragged on for years, costing the taxpayers a small fortune, yielding practically nothing. To top it off, imagine if the probe were limited only to African Americans.

This would be labeled racial profiling. Indeed, it would be called a scam.

Why, then, is it okay to probe Catholic priests—and no one else—looking to nail as many of them as possible for sexual abuse offenses extending back decades?

This is what has been happening in many states, beginning with the now discredited 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report released by Josh Shapiro, then the state’s attorney general and now its governor. The latest scam involves Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

In 2018, under Nessel’s predecessor, Bill Schuette, it was announced that all seven Michigan dioceses would be subjected to an investigation into the sexual abuse of minors; she took over in 2019.

As I pointed out in my book, The Truth about Clergy Sexual Abuse, we have known for some time that the vast majority of predatory priests are either dead or have been kicked out of the priesthood. Moreover, the data prove that this problem is long over in the Catholic Church.

On January 8, Nessel released a report on the Diocese of Gaylord; in 2022 she released a probe of the Diocese of Marquette. Both turned out to be fishing expeditions, done to smear Catholics.

The investigation of the Gaylord diocese reviewed documents dating back to 1950, when Harry Truman was president. It found that there were “credible”—not substantiated—charges against 26 priests and two deacons.

Of the 28, 16 are dead, two are retired, and one is still active; no charges have been brought against any of the three because the alleged offenses involved adults. Consistent with what I uncovered, Nessel said the “vast majority” of these offenses occurred before 2002, the year when the bishops’ conference adopted new reforms.

Nessel also failed in her probe of the Marquette diocese. Of the 44 priests who were named in the report, extending back to 1950, 32 were “known or presumed to be dead.” Moreover, only 6 of the 44 cases had been substantiated by the diocese.

Nessel has a history of lashing out at Catholics. She wasn’t attorney general for two months before she put Catholics on notice: if they were asked by law enforcement about clergy sexual abuse, they should “ask to see their badge, not their rosary.”

According to one Michigan media outlet, SooLeader, to date the investigation of the Michigan Catholic dioceses has turned up 220 boxes of paper documents and more than 3.5 million digital documents. Only in 11 cases throughout the entire state have criminal charges been brought, resulting in nine convictions. None of the 11 cases involved the clergy from the Gaylord diocese.

The list of the 11 cases makes clear that three of the victims were male. The sex of the others is not identified. This sleight of hand is typical—it amounts to a cover up of the role which homosexual priests have played in the clergy sexual abuse scandal.

We know from the John Jay studies on this subject that more than 80 percent of all the sexual abuse of minors was at the hands of homosexual priests; only a very small percentage of the cases had anything to do with pedophilia. The most common victim was a postpubescent male.

The bias in Michigan is palpable. The attorney general’s office is not interested in pursuing cases of sexual abuse committed by members of the clergy of other religions, and it sure isn’t interested in probing the public schools.

What makes this so outrageous is that Michigan has a serious problem with sexual abuse in the public schools. In 2016, USA Today released a report on this subject, covering all 50 states: Michigan public schools received an  “F” in their handling of sexual abuse.

Three years later I wrote to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and the entire state legislature, asking for an investigation of sexual abuse in the public schools. No one was interested in taking on the public school establishment, and the unions that fund the Democrats.

Religious profiling, like racial profiling, is morally reprehensible. Covering up the identity of sexual abusers is also offensive. Thanks to Dana Nessel, both are alive and well in Michigan.

Contact Nessel’s director of communications, Amber McCann:

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