Judge appointed to help diocese deal with abuse claims

Associated Press

Saginaw– A prominent judge who is retiring soon will help the Saginaw Roman Catholic Diocese deal with allegations of sexual abuse by priests.

Michael Talbot was introduced Friday by the Saginaw bishop. Talbot publicly urged victims to step forward and also pledged to share information with police whenever necessary.

Separately, the diocese plans to post the names of five priests accused of sexual abuse, some decades ago. One has died and four no longer are priests.

The Rev. Robert DeLand was charged in February with sex crimes against two males. He was pastor at St. Agnes Church in Freeland. Another priest was suspended in March.

Bishop Joseph Cistone says he appointed Talbot because the 11-county diocese needs a “fresh start” during a “very distressing” time.

Talbot, chief judge at the Michigan appeals court, says he won’t be paid.