Bishop Raica Accused of Covering-Up Sex Crimes

A newly unredacted 2007 report from the Flint police department alleges that Bishop Steven J- Raica had knowledge of at least one incident of sexual assault of an 8 year old child. The report, anonymously shared with Birmingham Diocesan Watch, identifies the now deceased Diocese of Lansing priest, Fr. Vincent DeLorenzo, as the assailant. In the report, the victim/survivor alleges that they disclosed Delorenzo’s assaults to then Fr. Steven Raica in 1978. They also allege that shortly after the disclosure, the assaults stopped.

Record of Bishop Steven Raica reporting the victim/survivor’s disclosure to police in 1978 or the following years has not been found. Michigan‘s Child Protection Law (effective October 1, 1975) required members of the clergy to report child abuse to authorities at the time of the victim/survivor’s disclosure. Lansing SNAP leader, Nadja Tirrell, is calling on the Michigan Attorney General’s office to investigate Bishop Raica’s alleged inaction. “Did Bishop Raica tell authorities back in 1978 that Fr. DeLorenzo was sexually assaulting children? How many children could have been saved if he had?”

Bishop Raica is currently the Bishop of Birmingham, Alabama. Before his appointment, he was assigned as the Bishop of Gaylord, Michigan. The Michigan Attorney General’s office initiated an investigation into all Catholic Dioceses in October 2013.