Another Priest Suspended in Saginaw Sex Abuse Probe

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by Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  March 17, 2018   

Fr. Ronald Dombrowski accused of misconduct with a minor

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SAGINAW, Michigan (ChurchMilitant.com) - Less than three weeks after the arrest of a Saginaw, Michigan priest for sexual assault, the diocese is announcing the suspension of another "senior priest." 

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Fr. Ronald J. Dombrowski

In a press release issued Saturday, the diocese announced it was suspending from priestly ministry Fr. Ronald J. Dombrowski, 72, under investigation after a victim contacted the diocese Thursday. The victim is now an adult, but reported information about alleged sex abuse that took place when the victim was a minor.

According to the press release, the "diocese shared this information with law enforcement."

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Fr. Dombrowski sits on

the Presbyteral Council

The priest's suspension was taken "as a precautionary measure." In addition to being forbidden to be around anyone under age 21, "he must refrain from wearing clerical garb, refrain from the exercise of public ministry, and may not present himself publicly as a priest while the allegation is being investigated," the statement continues.

A priest for 46 years, Dombrowski offered Mass and the sacraments at Holy Family Parish, where he served as sacramental minister. He also sits on the diocese's presbyteral council, which advises the bishop on matters concerning Catholics' pastoral welfare. 

On February 26, 71-year-old Fr. Robert DeLand — judicial vicar, a judge on the marriage tribunal and a member of the board of priest personnel — was arrested for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old male. Since his arrest, Saginaw police have received 20–30 credible allegations of abuse involving multiple clergy in the diocese.

A federal lawsuit was filed by a victim naming not only DeLand, but also Bp. Cistone and the Saginaw diocese, accusing them of covering up sex abuse, among other things. 

Bishop Cistone's work as a chancery official in Philadelphia reveals a history of covering up priestly abuse. A 2005 grand jury report claims he silenced a nun who tried to report clerical abuse, helped ensure that a known sex abuser be made Cdl. Anthony Bevilacqua's speechwriter, and agreed to keep multiple sex-abusing priests at their parish assignments, including one known for sadistic behavior, including whipping and pricking boys with pins until they bled. The priests were eventually suspended or defrocked for sex abuse.

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