Waterford Twp. priest restricted from ministry after abuse allegation

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News
The Rev. Joseph (Jack) Baker

An Archdiocese of Detroit priest has been restricted from all public ministry following an allegation that he sexually abused a minor.

The Rev. Joseph "Jack" Baker, the pastor of St. Perpetua in Waterford Township, was removed Wednesday pending "the outcome of the canonical process" because of an allegation dating back to his early years of ministry, according to a statement from the archdiocese

The archdiocese said it reported the recent allegation to state Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office, which authorized the diocese to move forward with its review and removal process. 

As part of his restrictions, Baker, 57, cannot present himself as a priest, exercise any church ministry or wear clerical clothing. The diocese will monitor Baker to ensure he complies.

The Rev. Gerard Battersby, an auxiliary bishop for the archdiocese, will take over leadership at St. Perpetua Parish as a temporary administrator.

Ordained in 1993, Baker has served at St. Hugo of the Hills in Bloomfield Hills, Sacred Heart Parish in Dearborn, Wayne State Medical School Campus Ministry in Detroit, St. Mary Parish in Wayne, Ss. Kevin and Norbert Parish in Inkster, Holy Family Parish in Inkster and St. Benedict Parish in Waterford.

People wishing to report clergy sexual abuse should call (844) 324-3374 to report the incident to Nessel’s office, which is investigating clergy sexual abuse complaints in Michigan’s seven dioceses.

Five priests were charged in May as a result of Nessel's investigation. 

Reports also can be made to the Archdiocese’s victim assistance line at (866) 343-8055 or vac@aod.org.


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