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Michigan AG is investigating all seven Catholic Dioceses for possible sexual abuse cases

The Catholic Church in Michigan has seven dioceses. (WWMT)

Michigan's attorney general has launched an investigation in all seven Catholic Church dioceses in the state regarding possible sexual abuse accusations against priests.

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The office confirmed Friday that the investigation was opened in August, and covers any potential incidents from 1950 to the present. The office also said that the investigation will cover any allegations related to the cover up of sexual abuse or assault.

The office did not mention specific cases, but has created a website and a hot line number to encourage anyone who might be a victims of such abuse to come forward.

On its website, the attorney general's office states: "The Michigan Department of Attorney General has determined that a full and complete investigation of what happened within the Catholic Church is required. This investigation is and will continue to be independent, thorough, transparent, and prompt."

Andrea Bitely, the communication's director for the attorney general's office, said the investigation was launched in the wake of the grand jury report from Pennsylvania, which states that more than 1,000 children had suffered abuse at the hands of priests since 1940.

On Friday, the Diocese of Kalamazoo released a statement saying that it would fully cooperate with the attorney general's investigation.

"We look forward to learning from the Attorney General’s investigation any information that will be beneficial in our shared desire to bring justice and healing to all victims of abuse and to implement safeguards that are successful in eradicating any occurrences of wrongdoing," the diocese statement said. "As a Church we continue to unite our prayers for all victims and invite Catholics to come together at one of the three planned Masses of Reparation and Healing scheduled in the coming weeks.”

Earlier this month the Kalamazoo diocese announced that it had created "A Plan to Protect" to ensure that the church was addressing the issues of sexual abuse. Announcing the plan Sept. 14, Kalamazoo Bishop Paul Bradley said he wants to ensure that the diocese is doing what is necessary to protect its most vulnerable members.

"I really did believe that we had everything in place that we needed to have in place, and all we had to do was make sure we were faithfully following through,” Bradley said during the announcement. “Now, I'm interesting to hear what others might be able to bring to say, 'have you ever thought about doing this?'"

The Bishop's plan calls for greater transparency and cooperation with authorities when allegations are brought to light, and publicly releasing the names of priests believed to be abusers.



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