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LANSING, Mich. (ChurchMilitant.com) - An abuse survivor has issued a public letter to Michigan Bp. Earl Boyea urging that he resign over his mishandling of clerical abuse cases.
"You must inform the public about your relationship with Egan and Inglot," the letter begins, "why you permitted both to be in charge of or near athletic men whom they would find attractive, and why the diocese attacked and discredited men who came forward."
The young man, who has asked to remain anonymous, was a victim of Fr. Pat Egan, who was stripped of his faculties in Sept. 2018 after a credible allegation of "inappropriate sexual behavior with an adult male," according to the diocese's statement.
The diocese left out the significant fact that Boyea had first learned of the allegation in 2014 but had taken no action to remove the priest from ministry for four years.
In fact, in private meetings between the victim and Boyea in 2016 and 2017, Boyea falsely told the victim he could not remove faculties from Egan, as Egan was not technically a priest of the diocese. It wasn't until Sept. 2018, when the victim threatened to go public, that the bishop stripped Egan of his public priestly functions.
Boyea has recently come under criticism after leaked audio showing him appearing to make light of predatory behavior. In the conversation, which took place at the Feb. 23 Lansing Men's Conference, Boyea is asked why he failed to act when he first learned of the allegation against Egan in 2014. Boyea responds by appearing to mock the gravity of the situation.
The young man's full letter follows:
Dear Bishop Boyea,
You must inform the public about your relationship with Egan and [Fr. Mark] Inglot, why you permitted both to be in charge of or near athletic men whom they would find attractive, and why the diocese attacked and discredited men who came forward. In Inglot's case, one priest was sent to treatment and transferred, another transferred, another two newly ordained priests quit and left the faith under his care without any investigation. Why was Inglot the director of seminarians? God's beloved priests are afraid to speak out publicly, and they have continuously asked you for protection from sexual predators within the clergy. As of 2/24/19 in the parish bulletin, St. Thomas Aquinas parishioners have been told Inglot's restrictions are "for the time being" during a "time of healing." You must end this abuse of our priests.
In Egan's case, he has boxed with young men and unaccompanied minors for 28 years within the Church, while the University of Michigan found the allegation of sexual abuse credible and removed him as coach from the University of Michigan Boxing Program in 1993. This victim was still concerned for the faithful for the next 28 years and had to suffer the trauma of a compromised lay review board which had Fr. Pat's own spiritual superior deem his allegation not credible. This man lost his faith, where is your compassion?
In my case you told me I could not trust a priest while your staff told me I could not trust a parish. Your staff threatened me with your lawyer as to remove me from the Catholic community. Your internal auditor made false allegations against me and sent edited versions of my email communications to a victim's advocacy organization in an attempt to remove me from the board. After four years of personally asking you to protect the faithful from Fr. Pat, you mocked me with the reality that due to your negligence Fr. Pat might still be having kids to his residence. How irresponsible of you.
Why didn’t you warn Gabriel Richard High School when you deemed my allegation to be credible in 2014, or when I met with you in 2016 or 2017? I was stunned when the president of the school told me Fr. Pat was still finding unaccompanied teenage work-out partners on school grounds as recently as March of 2018. Why was I the first to warn John Dejak on August 15, 2018? You found my allegation credible in 2014; how did you forget to protect the children?
If I understand you correctly, you believed kids were going to Fr. Pat's house, but even now you refuse to make a public statement through the diocese that Fr. Pat has been accused multiple times of sexual assault and lewd behavior as far back as 1990, and as recently as 2014. An audio recording reveals that you believed kids were still to this day going to Fr. Pat’s residence and you failed to warn Gabriel Richard high school, again.
As of 3/8/19 Daniel Coalition has been informed Fr. Pat has called a minor and requested an unaccompanied evening work-out session. Are you sure kids are not going to Fr. Pat's?
When I met with you on Sept. 17, 2018, you were asked by Ralph Martin as to why you have not alerted the public to Inglot's predatory behavior; you said it is because you "did not want to offend the older gay priests in the diocese." Is this the same in Egan's case? On Sept. 11 of 2018, you promised to publish the names of clerics who are credibly accused of abusing minors. I'm reminding you to do what you said. In order for the public to trust the upcoming external audit of the handling of sexual abuse against minors (adults excluded), the public needs to be able to contact the firm to report when the diocese has failed to protect them from sexual predators. How can we contact this firm directly? If I take you at your word, you are more concerned about offending old gay priests and providing perverts with young athletic men than protecting me or anyone else.
This is my advice to you as St. Joseph.
You must first publish the names and warn the diocese of all sexual predators you have placed in service. Next, you must remove and condemn Dignity USA or any sex group operating at St. Mary's student parish in Ann Arbor or wherever your flock goes. Holy priests and prominent Catholics have asked you to remove Dignity from the diocese, but you have not found the time. You should honor their requests.
In order for the good of the Church and as a public service, you should out yourself as a risk to the faithful. You know the external audit is limited and does not provide true oversight. Fathers Egan, Inglot and even Fr. Matthew Joseph's case prove you did not protect men, women, children and even priests. How could you place Fr. Matthew Joseph back in service at the same parish after a credible allegation was made regarding sexual behavior? How many allegations were made after he was reinstated, prior to his permanent removal from the diocese?
Last, you must disclose and close all the loopholes in policy which have historically been used to keep men like Inglot and Egan in service.
A credibly accused priest-psychologist was removed two days after the AG took your files, 35 years after he was credibly accused of sexual assault (Gerl).
Your behavior has brought suffering to victims and anxiety to the faithful, leading to the formation of four lay coalitions. Each has formed where you allowed a sexual predator to remain in ministry after being credibly accused (Egan, Inglot, Joseph).
On 2/23/19 after listening to Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers (ex-law enforcement) give instruction on manhood and spiritual warfare for several hours, and after praying the Holy Mass, you taunted a victim of sexual abuse and refused to protect kids.
Under your leadership we have experienced $5,000,000+ and $500,000 embezzlements by parish priests (Wehrle, Fisher), the continued abuse of priests despite their protests (Inglot), and decades of cover-up and continued abuse (Egan, Joseph, Gerl). Our Church is now under investigation.
Now we must endure the worst thing a sitting Bishop has said on recorded audio.
In 2001, you wrote: "Admittedly, the number of men and women in our society committed to the celibate life is relatively small." You critiqued Fr. Cozzens' statement that healthy priests "possess the courage to stand in loyal opposition should official Church policy appear unfaithful to the gospel." You asked how a priest could "really know for sure" if official policy was unfaithful to the gospel. Our priests should know by now that our official policy is untrue to the gospel by the network of male, female, minor and priest victims now present from credibly accused clergy operating after they were credibly accused.
Jesus has suffered as you "managed" predators rather than removed them.
Bishop Boyea, the faithful would be well-suited by your resignation. You are compromised, and as you have said, you "can't protect the whole diocese," you "just can't do it."
The Daniel Coalition formed as a result of the mishandling of Egan, and publicly questions your negligence.
St. Joan of Arc Coalition formed to demand transparency regarding your mishandling of Inglot and sexual misconduct between coaches and students.
The St. Mary Mackillop Coalition was formed after you placed Fr. Joseph back into the same parish where he was credibly accused. This coalition has an event hosted by La Casa on March 16 to prevent further sexual abuse.
The Judith Coalition also has formed to empower victims without consideration. Membership is anonymous.
St. Joseph, Protector of Holy Church, pray for us.
A lay member of Roman Catholic Faithful
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