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La Crosse priest resigns post in U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops amid allegations
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La Crosse priest resigns post in U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops amid allegations

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Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill, a priest of the Diocese of La Crosse, has announced his resignation as General Secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The resignation came after the USCCB “became aware of impending media reports alleging possible improper behavior by Msgr. Burrill,” said Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles.

In a July 20 memo to bishops, Archbishop Gomez said he had accepted Burrill’s resignation, effective immediately.

“What was shared with us did not include allegations of misconduct with minors. However, in order to avoid becoming a distraction to the operations and ongoing work of the conference, Monsignor has resigned,” the archbishop said.

Reports came from The Pillar, a Catholic news site, that said it found evidence the priest engaged in serial sexual misconduct.

An analysis of app data signals correlated to Burrill’s mobile device shows the priest also visited gay bars and private residences while using a location-based hookup app in numerous cities from 2018 to 2020, even while traveling on assignment for the U.S. bishops’ conference, The Pillar reported.

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In 2016, Burrill was appointed Associate General Secretary and in 2020 was named General Secretary for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The general secretariat oversees the work of the USCCB on behalf of the nation’s bishop

The Diocese of La Crosse issued this statement today:

“Msgr. Burrill was ordained a priest for the Diocese of La Crosse in 1998 and in conjunction with the Diocese’s Protect and Heal initiatives has consistently completed safe environment training and background checks. His most recent background check was completed in 2020.

“Bishop William Patrick Callahan and representatives of the Diocese of La Crosse are saddened to hear the media reports related to Msgr. Burrill. The Diocese of La Crosse pledges its full cooperation with the Conference of Catholic Bishops to pursue all appropriate steps in investigating and addressing the situation.

“Please remember Msgr. Burrill and all affected in your prayers so they may find refuge and strength in God’s unfailing love.”

Burrill earned a bachelor of arts degree from Saint Mary’s College Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, Minnesota, in 1994, a bachelor of sacred theology from the Gregorian University in Rome in 1997, and a licentiate in ecumenical theology from the Angelicum University, also in Rome, in 1999.

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