Residents speak out as investigation into Catholic Diocese of Saginaw continues

As the investigation into the Saginaw Catholic Diocese continues, residents are speaking out. (WEYI)

SAGINAW, Mich. --As the investigation into the Saginaw Catholic Diocese continues, residents are speaking out.

This past week several diocese properties were raided by law enforcement after two priests were accused of sexual misconduct.

The recent turn of events has left many in Saginaw wondering what's happening with the Saginaw Catholic Diocese.

"I feel badly for them,” says resident Gayle Geth.

"I think in Saginaw right now it's just kind of sad" says another resident.

On Thursday, law enforcement officials removed boxes of evidence, including computer hard drives, from the Saginaw Catholic Diocese offices. They also raided two other diocese properties including the Bishop's home.

In February, Father Robert Deland was charged with criminal sexual conduct for allegedly assaulting two males. The Diocese suspended him and weeks later suspended a second priest, Father Ronald Dombrowski who is accused of sexual misconduct but has not yet been charged.

Saginaw Resident Gayle Geth says she's disappointed but glad people are being informed.

“Well it's really a shame but maybe in a way it's a good thing because it's coming out, it can be taken care of and not led to progress."

Another resident who declined to be on camera simply describes it as sad.

"I think it's sad for the priest, I think it's sad for the parishioners, I think it's sad for everybody involved."

Bishop Joseph Cistone says the diocese has been cooperating with law enforcement, but Saginaw County assistant prosecutor Mark Gaertner says the warrants came as a result of the Diocese’s lack of cooperation.

One Catholic man we spoke with who didn't want to be on camera says he just wants to make sure his offering isn't being used for legal defense.

Geth says she hopes this doesn't tarnish the image of the Catholic community.

"They're good people and to have this happen is traumatic for them."

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