By Jessica Mathews /

The Michigan Attorney General’s Office will not be filing charges against a priest at a Brighton-area church following an investigation.

The Reverend Shaun Lowery was placed on ministerial leave from his post as Pastor of St. Mary Magdalen in Brighton in March 2021 pending the investigation by the Attorney General’s office.

In a statement issued Friday, the Diocese announced it had been informed that investigation had been closed and the office would not be bringing charges. Michigan Department of Attorney General Press Secretary Lynsey Mukomel told WHMI “Let’s be clear: no criminal charges is not equivalent to exoneration. We appreciate the diocese’s cooperation as well as those who shared their stories for this investigation”.

With the AG investigation completed, the Diocese of Lansing says it is free to proceed with the obligatory canonical investigation as mandated by the Church’s Code of Canon Law. In the meantime, Father Lowery will remain on ministerial leave and without priestly faculties as also required by Canon Law. Officials said such an investigation carries no presumption of guilt. In order not to prejudice the investigation, it was stated that no more information can be shared publicly until the matter has been adjudicated by the Holy See.

The Diocese said it was grateful for the Attorney General’s attention to this matter and remains committed to cooperating with law enforcement regarding all allegations of criminal misconduct.

Lowery came to St. Mary Magdalen following the 2019 retirement of Father David Howell after 26 years with the church. Lowery previously served as Parochial Vicar for St Francis of Assisi Parish in Ann Arbor.

The full statement from the Diocese can be accessed through the provided web link.