Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lansing Catholic Diocese paid $225K to settle abuse claim against deceased monsignor

Lansing Catholic Diocese paid $225K to settle abuse claim against deceased monsignor
Kathleen Lavey • August 25, 2010

LANSING -- The Catholic Diocese of Lansing paid $225,000 last week to a man who says he was abused by a priest in the 1950s at the St. Vincent children’s home.


The settlement was signed July 27 by the man and on Aug. 11 by Bishop Earl Boyea, leader of the 10-county diocese.


The man, now in his late 50s, and his siblings were sent by their parents to the St. Vincent home in Lansing from June 1954 to March 1955 and reunited with their family in spring of 1956, said his attorney, David Mittleman. While there, the man believes that Monsignor John Slowey, director of Catholic Social Services and chaplain at the home, molested him.


In the text of the settlement, the diocese denies the allegations.


Michael Diebold, spokesman for the diocese, confirmed the payment and said the diocese chose not to make the settlement public because the claim is the only one ever made against Slowey, who died in 1983. The diocese said the accusation cannot be substantiated.


That’s a key difference from the case of the Rev. John Martin, pastor of St. Isidore Catholic Church in Laingsburg from 1941 to 1966. Boyea told the State Journal on Monday that he believes a half-dozen claims of abuse made against Martin are true because multiple victims who were not in contact with each other told strikingly similar stories.


“We have pledged that, if we become aware of a substantiated report of abuse, we will publicize it,” Diebold said.


In the case of Slowey: “We simply don’t know.”


Check www.lsj.com for updates

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