Pervert Priest Corrupting Youth

News: Video Reports
by William Mahoney, Ph.D.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  March 17, 2022   

Criminally cleared, morally responsible

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TRANSCRIPT

A Michigan diocese is investigating a priest recently cleared of criminal behavior. The cleric remains suspended from ministry while the diocese probes his sending of sexually charged messages to high school students.

Church Militant's William Mahoney looks at where things currently stand.

Father Bryan Medlin sent text messages to high school boys between the ages of 16 and 18 on topics including "Downriver's finest topless bars" and getting "crazy with your gf" — and referred to his advice as "holy and horny wisdom."

The students were from St. Mary's in Lake Leelanau, one of the Wolverine State's oldest parishes. Upon learning of Medlin's behavior late last year, the Gaylord diocese reported everything to the Michigan State Police and Michigan attorney general.

The state cleared Medlin of criminal behavior, but the diocese, headed by Bp. Jeffrey Walsh, is still looking into the matter.

A spokesman for the diocese asserted, "The messages at the center of this investigation are clearly inappropriate and deeply disturbing — and by no means reflect the true nature of our Catholic values and beliefs, the very foundation of which is love and respect for one another and the safeguarding of trust."

In addition to Medlin's disturbing messages, alumni and students indicate the priest was also known to discuss female students' bodies and claim he would date them if still in high school himself.

Dr. Richard Brenz, Gaylord Diocesan Watch: "He's always been somewhat naïve and immature in his interpersonal relationships."

Before his suspension, Medlin was pastor of National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods in northern Michigan.

Medlin was also Gaylord's assistant vocations director, playing a key role in outreach to teens and young adults interested in the priesthood, and served as a liaison between seminarians and seminary faculty.

Church Militant reached out to the Gaylord diocese for comment and was directed to the official statement while the investigation remains underway.

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