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Lansing Bishop plans outside audit of child sex abuse allegations

Bishop in chair
Catholic Diocese of Lansing

The Diocese of Lansing has announced plans to review its handling of allegations of child sexual abuse by Catholic clerics.

Bishop of Lansing Earl Boyea shared his plans on the website of the Lansing Diocese earlier this week.

In his statement, Bishop Boyea said the review will be conducted by an outside agency of lay professionals.

He said their report will be made public and will list the names of clerics who sexually abused minors in the Lansing Diocese.

"Some names have already been made public or have been widely reported in the media,"  Bishop Boyea wrote on the website. "It is important for victims to see the names of their abusers made public, and it helps victims who have yet to come forward see that they are not alone."

The decision to conduct the review comes on the heels of a Pennsylvania grand jury report of widespread sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clerics.

"Recently, we have been horrified by more revelations of predatory sexual conduct by Catholic clergy as well as by the abuse of power and sexual sin by a cardinal. The horrid behavior described in the grand jury report from Pennylvania is shocking," Bishop Boyea wrote on the website. " Not only are these acts deeply sinful, they are criminal. Anyone guilty of causing such pain to victims, as well as those at any level within the Church's leadership who protected sexual predators, must be held accountable. Justice demands it."

Bishop Boyea's statement contains an overview of the steps the Lansing Diocese has already taken to prevent child sexual abuse, including the reporting of allegations of child sexual abuse to law enforcement.

The Lansing Diocese is made up of 10 counties: Clinton, Eaton, Genesee, Hillsdale, Ingham, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Shiawassee, and Washtenaw. It contains 71 parishes and 28 Catholic schools, according to Lansing Diocese spokesman Michael Diebold. 

Bishop Boyea declined Michigan Radio's interview request.

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