The announcement of the investigation follows the conclusion of a similar inquiry led by the Pennsylvania attorney general's office. A grand jury report into the sexual abuse of minors in six dioceses in that state was released in July. That report identified more than 300 alleged abusers and 1,000 victims.
The Michigan attorney general's office is already conducting similar investigations into Michigan State University and the Flint water crisis.
In addition to serving as attorney general, Schuette is also the Republican candidate in the upcoming election for governor in Michigan. He is running against Democrat Gretchen Whitmer, a former prosecutor and state legislator.
A recent poll by Mitchell Research showed Schuette trailing his opponent by 10 points. Real Clear Politics puts Whitmer ahead by an average of 10.6 points and currently predicts a "likely Democrat" victory.
Schuette's seven-year record as attorney general has attracted criticism during the campaign, with his opponents saying that the attorney's social conservatism is out of step with Michigan voters.
In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a statewide ban on gay marriage, a policy Schuette publicly supported. In 2016, he joined a lawsuit challenging federal school guidance on transgender students.
More recently, the attorney general issued an opinion in July challenging the Michigan Civil Rights Commission's determination that existing state bans on sex based discrimination were also applicable to sexual orientation and "gender identity."
Schuette said the Commission's reasoning was "invalid" and in clear conflict with the "original intent" and "plain language" of the legislation.
On Sept. 19, the U.S. bishops' conference announced a series of new policies in response to recent sexual abuse scandals. These included a new third-party reporting mechanism for making complaints of sexual misconduct against a bishop, with such complaints being forwarded to civil law enforcement when appropriate.