Catholic official with ties to La Crosse resigns from US bishops conference

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBT) — A priest with ties to La Crosse has resigned from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops ahead of misconduct allegations, according to a memo the conference’s leader issued Tuesday.

Archbishop Jose H. Gomez sent the memo out, informing his fellow priests that Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill resigned his post as general secretary.

Burrill Memo

Gomez wrote that the bishops became aware of impending media reports that allege “possible improper behavior” by Burrill but said it did not include allegations of misconduct with minors. The allegations have not been made public.

“However, in order to avoid becoming a distraction to the operations and ongoing work of the Conference, Monsignor has resigned effective immediately,” Gomez said. “The Conference takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and will pursue all appropriate steps to address them.”

Burrill was ordained a priest for the Diocese of La Crosse in 1998. He taught and was a chaplain at Regis High and Middle schools in Eau Claire from 1999-2001, and he was a pastor in Mondovi from 2001 to 2009. He also served as pastor of St. Bronislava Church in Plover from 2013-16.

According to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, he earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s in Winona and studied in Rome. In 2016, he was appointed associate general secretary and was named general secretary for the bishops conference last year.

The La Crosse Diocese said Burrill has consistently completed safe environment training and background checks in conjunction with the diocese’s Protect and Health initiatives.

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