New Saginaw Bishop Comes With Mixed Legacy

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by David Nussman  •  •  August 1, 2019   

Bp. Robert Gruss installed in diocese troubled by abuse scandals

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A diocese plagued by scandals has gotten a new bishop.

Bishop Robert Gruss was installed as head of the diocese of Saginaw, Michigan, on July 26.

The diocese has been troubled by sex abuse scandals involving multiple priests — most notably Fr. Robert DeLand.

DeLand is now behind bars for the sexual assault of multiple young men after incriminating audio captured him grooming and then trying to assault a 17-year-old male in his private condo.

Church Militant aired the recordings — the only known instance of a predator priest's grooming techniques caught on tape.

Bishop Gruss follows Bp. Joseph Cistone, who died last October under unusual circumstances, found collapsed on the bathroom floor of his home one morning.

Although he was suffering from stage three cancer, he'd been active that week, carrying on all his normal duties.

This came as he was the center of a criminal investigation by both Saginaw County prosecutors and the Michigan attorney general, who raided diocesan property and took secret files of abusive clergy.

Bishop Gruss (the new bishop of Saginaw) has a history of his own.

In February this year, Gruss condemned Church Militant along with watchdog group Roman Catholic Faithful, accusing us of "doing the work of Satan" for our reporting on corrupt cardinals and bishops.

It remains to be seen what direction Bp. Gruss will steer the diocese of Saginaw.

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