Vatican suspended canonical investigation of Detroit priest

Basilica of Ste. Anne de Detroit / J.A. Dunbar/Shutterstock

Washington D.C., Apr 23, 2021 / 17:00 pm (CNA).

The Archdiocese of Detroit will proceed with a “canonical disciplinary process” against a priest accused of the sexual abuse of a minor, after the Vatican declined to move forward with a canonical investigation.

The priest, Fr. Eduard Perrone, was the pastor of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Grotto) parish in Detroit. Perrone has not served in public ministry since 2019, after the accusation was made against him and the diocese conducted a preliminary investigation. He maintains his innocence.

In an April 13 statement, the archdiocese explained that approximately two years ago, it began a canonical “preliminary investigation” of the allegations against the priest. After this review, the archdiocese forwarded the allegations to the Vatican.

However, the archdiocese said that it could not take action in the case after the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) would not move forward with its investigation of Fr. Perrone.

“The CDF has informed the Archdiocese that – without ruling on the merits of the allegations against Fr. Perrone – it has decided not to proceed in this particular case,” the archdiocese stated. “Therefore, no further action can be taken in this case under church law.”

The CDF, the archdiocese said, “has the sole authority in the Catholic Church to issue a determination in such cases.”

Fr. Perrone will remain restricted from public ministry, the archdiocese said, and cannot present himself as a priest. The 72 year-old Perrone will still receive the financial assistance and benefits accorded to all diocesan priests.

“In its communication, the CDF acknowledged that due to Fr. Perrone’s purported actions during the investigation, the Archdiocese has the authority to address his conduct through the means available under the Code of Canon Law,” said the statement.

The archdiocese added that “he [Perrone] maintains the rights of defense and the presumption of innocence in all matters.”

The archdiocese added that they will not be commenting further until the disciplinary process has finished.

Fr. Perrone was ordained a priest of the archdiocese in June 1978. The complaint against him was received in 2018, according to the archdiocese – his first recorded complaint as a priest.

The archdiocese declined to provide details of when the alleged incident took place, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation. It did confirm that the alleged incident concerned Perrone’s “earlier years of ministry.”

After receiving authorization from the CDF, the archdiocese conducted a preliminary investigation, the first stage of a canonical process, into the allegations against Perrone.

A subsequent presentation to the Archdiocesan Review Board “found that there was a semblance of truth to the allegation,” Monsignor Mike Bugarin told CNA in July 2019.

Bugarin serves as Episcopal Vicar and Delegate for Matters of Clergy Misconduct in the Detroit archdiocese.

The archdiocese suspended Fr. Perrone from public ministry on July 7, 2019.

While speaking to CNA, the monsignor avoided describing the charges as either “credible” or “substantiated” and emphasized that at this stage the only conclusion had been of a “semblance of truth.”

Semblance of truth is a legal standard in canon law usually defined as “not manifestly false or frivolous”; it establishes only that an allegation cannot be immediately dismissed as factually impossible.

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  1. What poor reporting… left out a ton of facts that prove Fr. Perrone is completely innocent. Is Church Militant the only Catholic site left that actually reports the facts?

    Catholic World Report you should be ashamed for such poor reporting.

    • I concur. This so-called reporting leaves the impression that the charges are “not manifestly false or frivolous” when in fact that is exactly what they are, as Church Militant has reported thoroughly and repeatedly. Why does CWR reporting not report on what Church Militant has found?

  2. How dare this priest maintain his innocence when the archbishop has said he is guilty. The hierarchy never makes mistakes. My reading on this situation also shows that this priest tried to stay faithful to the Traditions and Teaching of the Church founded by Christ. Doesn’t he realize that the hierarchy has moved on to the new reality and the only crime is to be faithful to Christ and not the hierarchy and modernism. No wonder he needs to be punished and drummed out. He probably was more focused on saving souls than the key SJW points that the hierarchy is now emphasizing as they move into their more secular future. Just as the party never made mistakes in the USSR we can be confident that the hierarchy is not making mistakes. Mary my Mother intercede for us all.

  3. I am stunned that CWR published this “story” by CNA.

    Church Militant has published evidence, including evidence from defamation lawsuits by Father Perrone’s attorneys, that this man “Rev.” Bugarin hired a corrupt police woman friend of his to conduct a phony “investigation” where both he and she outright lied, that they fabricated “testimony” that there was a victim that accused Fr. Perrone of sex abuse. One man identified as a “victim” has appeared on video stating that he never accused Fr. Perrone of sexual abuse, that this man “Rev.” Bugarin and this corrupt police woman Bugarin hired falsified his testimony and inserted their own lies and falsely attributed those fabrications to the witness. The man travelled all the way from down south to refute Bugarin and publicize that Bugarin falsified and fabricated his testimony.

    Fr. Perrone’s attorney reported in a video interview that Fr. Perrone’s legal team won a defamation lawsuit against this woman for lying. Fr. Perrone’s attorneys also reported months ago that the civil court judge in Detroit had to publicly threaten Bugarin and his Bishop Vigneron with contempt of court, in order to force them to disclose evidence that vindicated Fr. Perrone, evidence which they brazenly withheld.

    In 2018, when the McCarrick abuse story broke wide open, the NYT writer Ross Douthat argued in writing that if you want to find out the truth about sex abuse cases in the Church in the US, you had best start listening to news outlest “on the fringe” because they are the only places where journalists might really be pursuing the truth. I took himat his word, and I started watching Church Militant’s reporting on many cases, and the Bugarin/Vigneron vendetta against Fr. Perrone has been a major story they are covering. They present damning evidence aganst Bugarin, Vigneron and this police woman, in the form of written court documents and video testimony with attorneys and witnessses.

    So this story by CNA seems to be a collaboration with the AD of Detroit on their second renewed smear campaign aganst Fr. Perrone, who Church MIlitant reports is a target in Detroit, because Perrone played a primary role in getting a “gay seminary” shutdown in Detroit, and the AD of Detroit is out for blood against him.

    As to CNA, they seem to be indicating that they are part of “The McCarrick Establishment,” the empire of abuse and intimidation, where corrupt Bishops and clergy are unaccountable, and abuse and intimidate and destroy anyone who dares to speak or seek the truth.

    The AD of Detroit and Bishop Vigneron seem to be a cabal of disgusting frauds, who Church Militant is now exposing for covering up for a cabal of gay Polish priests who committed sex abuse in a well known Catholic high school in the AD of Detroit.

    It is utterly appalling that this Bishop Vigneron is the Vice President of the USCCB.

    CNA are making themselves appear to be smearing Fr. Perrone on behalf of the AD of Detroit and the USCCB.

    Do CNA and the AD of Detroit and CNA think that they can get away with this monstrous lying and fraud and malice?

    I am appalled at the thought that the AD of Detroit and Bishop Vigneron and “Rev.” Bugarin can even claim the name “Catholic.”

    This is a repulsive and tyrannical maneuver by CNA. May God, who loves justice, bring his justice against such treacherous behavior.

  4. CNA thinks they can get away with smearing Fr. Perrone on behalf of their boss, Bishop Vigneron of Detroit, who is Vice President of the USCCB?

    In lieu of the smear narrative of CNA, I suggested that Catholic people deserve some truth instead. So since CNA witholds the truth, and intends to stick to smears for the corrupt Bishop Vigneron, let’s ponder that the civil courts in Michigan have ruled unanimously against the “investigator” hired by “Rev.” Bugarin and Vigneron, and have awarded Fr. Perrone $125,000 in damages for defamation of character.

    Here is video number 1:

    More will follow.

    The AD of Detroit and Vigneron and CNA are all guilty of defaming Fr. Perrone.

    • “CNA thinks they can get away with smearing Fr. Perrone on behalf of their boss, Bishop Vigneron of Detroit, who is Vice President of the USCCB?”

      Catholic News Agency is not operated by the USCCB. You might be thinking of the Catholic News Service, which is.

  5. Installment #3 on the Corrupt AD of Detroit Vendetta against Fr. Perrone, with several more articles and videos:

    How Bugarin, a Canon Lawyer, violated the new 2018 Church Guidelines on Investigations, Claiming he “Didn’t Know About That.”

    THE VORTEX: ANATOMY OF A TAKEDOWN – And every bit of it is underhanded

    THE VORTEX: JUST WHO’S RUNNING THE SHOW HERE? Because this is no way to run a candy store

    MSGR. MICHAEL BUGARIN’S IGNORANCE DAMAGED FR. PERRONE’S REPUTATION: Contrary to Pope’s recent guidelines, he publicizes allegations

    THE VORTEX: ‘THE PROCESS’ – Of destroying faithful priests

  6. I was mistaken in asserting that the CNA worked for the USCCB. They do not, it is the CNS (Catholic News Service) that works for the USCCB.

    I thank Carl Olsen for correcting me, and apologize for that mistake.

    I reiterate my principal criticism of the CNA as participating in a smear of Fr. Perrone, in seeming alliance with the AD of Detroit, which gives every evidence of being a cabal of frauds.

  7. OK…CNA is an arm of EWTN (who in general I like), and I now connect the dots:

    1. CNA is part of EWTN…
    2. EWTN employs Teresa Tomeo…
    3. “Rev.” Bugarin is Teresa Tomeo’s pastor.

    So that is the connection, and may well explain why someone at CNA (note that the “author” is not named in the article) would be content to anonymously participate in a smear of Fr. Perrone.

  8. Bishop Vigneron is also implicated in the allegations and coverup of sex abuse at Orchard Lake Schools, involving abuse by a Polish priest named Monsignor Krol, who was brought to the US and ordained by the one-and-only: Theodore McCarrick. Bishop Vigneron is on the Board of Orchard Lake Schools. Story on Michigan Public Radio here:

    Church Militant has also covered the Orchard Lake Schools case, as shown here:

    Other abuse coverup cases in Detroit are being covered by Church Militant, including this one, where Bishop Vigneron is being sued:

    And CM reports there is a climate of persecution of whistle blowers in the AD of Detroit:

    The AD of Detroit seems very much to be a corrupt cesspool.

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