Priest Removed from Ministry on Sex Abuse Charge

A U.P. Catholic priest has just been removed from ministry after being accused of sexually abusing a young boy.

It’s Father Aloysius Hasenberg.

He’s 86 years old and officially retired, but he still celebrates mass at Immaculate Conception in Watersmeet every day.

The abuse allegation is said to date back many years, and the Marquette diocese received it last month.

Marquette Bishop Alexander Sample says there won’t be any more information available about when or where the abuse is said to have taken place, in an effort to protect the suspected victim’s identity.

They’ve offered counseling and spiritual outreach to him.

The case has been sent to civil authorities and the Vatican.

Based on what church officials know so far, Bishop Sample decided the abuse claim appears to be credible.

However, just like in civil law, church law deems Father Hasenberg not guilty unless proven otherwise.

Bishop Sample says this is the first instance of a sex abuse allegation coming to light since the diocese implemented protective norms in 2005 meant to safeguard young people.

He’s also asking any other victims of sex abuse by either area clergy or other church employees to come forward.

The bishop says that’s the only way to begin the healing process, or to ensure that abusers are punished under both civil and church law.