The Diocese of Lansing today expressed gratitude to the victims of Genesee County-based priest, Reverend Vincent DeLorenzo, after the 84-year-old pleaded guilty to attempted criminal sexual conduct in the first degree.
“It was the bravery of those victims who came forward with testimony against DeLorenzo that helped to secure today’s conviction – for that, those individuals have our gratitude, our support and, of course, our prayers that they find both healing and peace,” said spokesman for the Diocese of Lansing, David Kerr, April 25.
“DeLorenzo’s actions were as gravely immoral as they were illegal, he besmirched the good name of the Catholic priesthood, he betrayed the trust put in him by the Catholic community of the Diocese of Lansing and, most disturbingly, he damaged the lives in his young victims.”
DeLorenzo’s guilty plea today relates to the sexual assault of a five-year-old boy in 1987. It was in 2002 that the Diocese of Lansing first received a complaint against DeLorenzo relating to the sexual abuse of a minor. After receiving the complaint, Bishop Carl Mengeling of Lansing promptly removed the priest from active ministry and forwarded the complaint to the Genesee County prosecutor. DeLorenzo has never returned to active ministry.
The Diocese of Lansing then invited any further victims of DeLorenzo to come forward in order to report their abuse to the civil authorities and to receive assistance from the diocese. Since then, seven additional complaints have been made against DeLorenzo. The most recent allegation was brought forward in January 2019. In line with diocesan policy, all allegations were forwarded to law enforcement.
The Diocese of Lansing has also been pursuing the laicization of DeLorenzo from the ministerial priesthood. That process had been on hold pending the outcome of civil legal proceedings. Today’s conviction will now allow the Church to pursue laicization.
DeLorenzo’s sentencing has been scheduled for June 13, 2023.
The Diocese of Lansing has a zero-tolerance policy regarding abuse. Those with credible allegations of abuse are removed from ministry. The diocese is aware of no one currently active in ministry within the diocese who has abused a child. The diocese is committed to cooperating fully with law enforcement so that anyone who harms children can be brought to justice.
If anyone has reason to suspect physical, sexual or emotional abuse of any person of any age, please contact Protective Services or the police, as appropriate.
If abuse by anyone connected to the Church is suspected, contact the office of the Michigan Attorney General Investigation hotline at 844-324-3374. Please also contact the Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator at (888) 308-6252 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.