Sexual misconduct allegation against Fr. Frank Lenz forwarded to Vatican

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Diocese of Marquette has completed its preliminary investigation into an allegation against Father Frank Lenz of sexual misconduct with a minor in the early 1970s.

In a Thursday press release, the diocese said the case has been forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith at the Vatican, which has jurisdiction in the Church in these cases. The CDF will review the material and make a decision about how the diocese should proceed.

When the allegation was received this spring, Father Lenz was placed on administrative leave immediately and the allegation was reported to the Marquette County Prosecutor, in accord with diocesan policy.

At that time Father Lenz was removed from all public priestly ministry and prohibited from presenting himself as a priest in accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The diocese says it should be noted that this is not a determination of guilt. Administrative leave is a precautionary measure while an allegation is being investigated.

To those who have been harmed by clergy sexual abuse, Bishop John Doerfler said, “On behalf of the Church, I apologize to all those who have been harmed by clergy sexual abuse, and renew my commitment to reach out and bring Christ’s peace and healing. There is no excuse for what happened to you. You are in my thoughts and prayers, and I am willing to journey with you to find Christ’s peace and healing.”

Anyone who may have suffered sexual misconduct by clergy, a church worker or volunteer is encouraged by Bishop Doerfler to come forward to receive pastoral care leading toward healing.

To bring a complaint regarding the sexual abuse of minors to the attention of the diocese, call one of the victims’ assistance coordinators: Stephen Lynott at (844) 495-4330 or Diane Tryan at (844) 694-4362.
Those who wish to put their complaint in writing may direct their correspondence to: Victim’s Assistance Coordinator, c/o Catholic Social Services of the U.P., 1100 Ludington St., Suite 401, Escanaba, MI 49829. The letter should be marked “personal and confidential” and indicate whether a response is desired by phone or by letter.

The diocese will also help anyone bring their concerns to church officials outside the diocese if the sexual abuse occurred elsewhere and the person now resides in the Diocese of Marquette. If you are unsure about bringing a complaint or would like further information, Stephen Lynott or Diane Tryan may be contacted at the numbers above.

The diocese always encourages those bringing a complaint to report the incident to local civil authorities. The diocese reports all allegations to the appropriate civil authorities.

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