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Published: Saturday, 9/17/2005

Area pastor removed from ministry over sex-abuse allegations

TEMPERANCE A well-known local Roman Catholic pastor who stepped down in 2002 following allegations of child sexual abuse was removed from the ecclesiastical ministry by the Vatican earlier this month.

The Rev. Alfred Miller, known as Father Al at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church on Lewis Avenue in Temperance from 1982 to 2002, has been barred from public ministry after an investigation supported by the Vatican, the Catholic Church s highest authority.

Ned McGrath, communications director for the Archdiocese of Detroit, noted that Father Miller is still a priest he has not been laicized, but he may not present himself as a priest or wear priestly attire in public. He may still celebrate Mass in private.

Father Miller, 67, retired from the church in July, 2002. That day, the Archdiocese of Detroit said Father Miller left because of health reasons, though several days later the archdiocese announced that he had been placed on an administrative leave of absence because of a credible allegation of sexual misconduct with minors.

The accusations stemmed from the earlier years of Father Miller s career, the archdiocese said. His removal this month stems from a church charter established in Dallas three years ago when clergy sexual abuse became a national scandal.

Mr. McGrath said in a statement that action is taken when the sexual abuse of a minor has occurred, certified either through an admission from the priest himself or by a determination that can be proven to a canonical standard.

The process involves canonical investigations that are reviewed and confirmed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican.

Father Miller was ordained in 1964 and first assigned to St. Joseph Catholic Church in Erie, Mich., as an associate pastor.

He moved from St. Joseph to St. Mary Catholic Church in Monroe in 1970, where he was an associate pastor. He also was a youth counselor at the former Monroe Catholic Central High School, now St. Mary Catholic Central.

In 1972, he became co-pastor at St. Frances Cabrini parish in Allen Park, Mich., near Detroit, and, in 1977, pastor of St. Patrick parish in Wyandotte, Mich., also near Detroit. He then moved to Mount Carmel.



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