An Open Letter to Laity

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by Church Militant  •  •  December 3, 2019   

James Grein discusses needed reforms to protect adults from abuse

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James Grein, victims' advocate and abuse victim of Theodore McCarrick, whose testimony led to the former cardinal's laicization, has written an open letter to laity about a new guide that sets forth rules on holding bishops and dioceses canonically and criminally liable in sex abuse cover-up. The guide was written by Michigan victims' advocacy group the St. Mary MacKillop Coalition, addressing needed reforms to protect priests, seminarians and other adults, who currently lack sufficient protections in the Church as victims of abuse. Below is Grein's letter in full.

James Grein

"The Bishop's Guide for the Deterrence and Prevention of Corporate Sex Crime Against Adults and Priests," written by the St. Mary MacKillop Coalition of Fenton, Michigan, exposes the canonical liability of all U.S. bishops and criminal liability of all Catholic corporations for failing to protect United States citizens from sexual abuse/sexual assault and financial crime.

Please download your own copy of the guide and send it to your local bishop, his staff or local prosecutor so they may understand the system that is placing U.S. citizens at risk of crime.

The specific weaknesses include:

  • Attorneys can destroy documents related to sexual abuse and crime of adults at will
  • Lack of protections for adults and priests after they report being victimized
  • Lack of consequences for abusers of adults and priests
  • Lack of oversight over cases involving adults and priests

As lay people, we are commanded to sanctify the Church per canon 210 and to speak out at times like this per canon 212.

By sharing this guide, we are doing as we are commanded by canon law. Our communications as lay people can then be used as evidence to hold our bishops accountable by U.S. prosecutors and in canonical and civil courts.

Any time an agent of the Church is charged with a felony, the corporation of the Church can also be charged.

Any time an agent of the Church is charged with a felony, the corporation of the Church can also be charged.

Corporate systems that fail to protect U.S. citizens from crime can then be used as a basis to multiply corporate charges per §8B2.1 of the 2018 U.S. Sentencing Commission Guidelines Manual.

Failing to protect U.S. citizens from crime is also contrary to internal Church law per canon 233 (care for seminarians and seminaries); 383 (requirement of concern for all Christians); 1276 (care for temporal goods); 1389 (requirement of diligence); and 1717 (proper investigation).

Bishop Earl A. Boyea of the diocese of Lansing used the system outlined in this guide to maintain the faculties of credibly accused abuser of priest(s) Fr. Inglot (still with faculties in 2019)credibly accused abuser of young men Fr. Egan (removed in 2018); and credibly accused abuser of women Fr. Arackal M.C.B.S (transferred in 2018).

Bishop Earl A. Boyea did not respond to a request for response by email after an earlier copy of this guide was sent to Bp. Boyea's personal email address on Nov. 14, 2019.

A hard copy was delivered to and received by the diocese of Lansing on Nov. 22, 2019.

In God We Trust,

James Grein


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