Monday, February 17, 2020

Parishioners Sue Claiming Wrongful Removal of Priest

An unusual lawsuit was recently filed against the Archdiocese of Detroit by 20 parishioners of a Detroit Roman Catholic parish. The suit filed in a Michigan state trial court claims plaintiffs suffered extreme emotional distress when their priest was falsely accused of sexually abusing a minor and was removed . The complaint (full text) in Dux v. Bugarin, (MI Cir. Ct., filed 1/31/2020), alleges that the Archdiocese, afraid of being attacked by the press for failure to respond to sex abuse charges, twisted allegations and engaged in improper investigatory interrogations to fabricate a rape charge against Fr. Eduard Perrone.  It further alleges that Michael Bugarin, the priest charged with conducting the investigation of Fr. Perrone, is a conservative who was opposed to reforms in the Church advocated by plaintiffs and by Fr. Perrone. The complaint also claims that defendants fraudulently failed to disclose that funds solicited in their annual Catholic Services Appeal would be used for the investigation of Fr. Perrone. Detroit Free Press reports on the lawsuit.