Update: Allegation of violation of diocesan Protocols for Ministry to Minors

In late 2021, the Diocese of Gaylord became aware of electronic messages sent by Rev. Bryan Medlin to a small number of high school students that appeared to violate diocese policies and protocols. The diocese immediately referred its concerns to the Michigan Department of Attorney General and the Michigan State Police, which launched an investigation. Fr. Medlin immediately stepped aside from all ministerial activities and was placed on administrative leave during the investigation. 

The diocese was notified yesterday by the Michigan Department of Attorney General that their investigation has concluded and they will not pursue criminal charges against Fr. Medlin. The findings of the investigation will be sent back to the diocese for an internal review to be conducted.

Now that civil law enforcement authorities have concluded that they will not pursue criminal charges against Fr. Medlin, the Diocese of Gaylord will immediately begin an internal review and investigation by Church authorities to determine further action. Fr. Medlin will remain on administrative leave and his parish responsibilities will continue to be overseen by another priest at the National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods.

“We are grateful for the thorough investigation by civil authorities into this matter, and we will now continue with a comprehensive investigation within the Church,” stated Mackenzie Ritchie, Director of Communications for the Diocese of Gaylord. “The messages at the center of this investigation are clearly inappropriate and deeply disturbing, and by no means reflect the true nature of our Catholic values and beliefs — the very foundation of which is love and respect for one another, and the safeguarding of trust. The security and safety of all those within our care, particularly our young people and the most vulnerable, are of the utmost importance and we will continue to promptly address inappropriate behavior and misconduct.”

The Diocese of Gaylord encourages that any allegation of inappropriate conduct, harassment or abuse by someone in the Church be reported to the Michigan Department of Attorney General at 844-324-3374 or to local law enforcement. Reports are also encouraged to be made to Church authorities by contacting the diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator, Larry LaCross at 989-705-9010.


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The Diocese of Gaylord was established by His Holiness Pope St. Paul VI on July 20, 1971. The territory encompasses 11,171 square miles and includes the 21 most northern counties of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The region is home to nearly 50,000 Catholics, served by 75 parishes, 16 Catholic schools and many closely-related institutions. For more information, visit www.dioceseofgaylord.org.

Media Contact: Mrs. Mackenzie Ritchie, Director of Communications | mritchie@dioceseofgaylord.org | 989.705.3506