Thursday, December 5, 2002

Michigan parish to welcome back their accused pastor for a prayer service

Detroit Cardinal Adam Maida's staff gave cautious approval for the service, scheduled for 7 p.m. at SS. John and Paul Catholic Church in Washington. "Not everyone would agree with this, but it's the parish's decision and we respect that," Maida's spokesman, Ned McGrath, said Wednesday. The Rev. Gary Bueche was removed from the parish April 1 and later was barred by Maida from working for the archdiocese or acting as a priest. Since then, he has spent time at a religious retreat in France, a recent parish newsletter said. The prayer service doesn't violate restrictions placed on Bueche and may help former parishioners "to say good-bye -- to bring some closure to his departure," McGrath said. ....

Other metro parishioners who miss departed priests may want to plan similar services, said Steve Wasko, a parishioner at St. Suzanne Catholic Church in Detroit and a supporter of the Rev. Dennis Duggan, who was removed from St. Suzanne in March. Many Catholics are grieving the loss of priests removed after accusations of misconduct, Wasko said. "Many, if not most of us, in our particular community still walk around with an open wound," Wasko said. "In a broad sense, there's a need for healing."

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