Diocese of Kalamazoo gets credible sex abuse allegation

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The Diocese of Kalamazoo says it has received a credible allegation of sexual abuse against retired Rev. Richard Fritz that dates back to the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The Diocesan review board, made up of sexual abuse experts and clergy members, deemed the allegation credible, meaning there is reasonable grounds to believe the abuse has occurred.

The Diocese says the Michigan Attorney General’s Office is aware of the allegation.

Until the Diocese concludes its process, Fritz cannot participate in public ministry, including celebrating Mass or the Sacraments or presenting himself as a priest in public.

The Diocese says this is the only sexual abuse complaint against Fritz it is aware of.

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In 2016, Fritz was accused of stealing more than $213,000 from the southwest Michigan churches, where he was a pastor. Embezzlement charges were later dismissed, according to The Daily Reporter.

“I am satisfied with the conversation that Father Fritz had with Bishop Bradley and how the church has chosen to move forward and begin to heal from this incident,” said St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough in a court motion he filed, the newspaper reported.

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