Priest accused of sexual misconduct
MARQUETTE — Father Frank M. Lenz, a retired priest of the Diocese of Marquette, has been placed on administrative leave effective immediately, diocese officials announced Monday. The action was taken as the result of a recently-made credible allegation of alleged sexual misconduct with a minor dating back to the 1970s, according to the diocese. Lenz has denied the allegation.
In accord with diocesan policy, the allegation has been reported to the Marquette County prosecutor.
The diocese has extended an offer of pastoral care to the person bringing the allegation, diocese officials stated in a press release.
Lenz has been 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.
“It should be noted that this is not a final determination of guilt. Administrative leave is a precautionary measure while a credible allegation is being investigated,” diocese officials said.
Lenz was ordained as priest in June 1967 and retired in 2007. He held several posts in the local area in his years as a priest including:
– 1975 Parochial Vicar St. Francis De Sales, Manistique, with mission in Gulliver
– 1978 Pastor St. Andrew Church, Nahma, ,with missions in Cooks and Isabella
– 2001 Pastor Holy Family Church, Flat Rock
His other assignments include:
– 1969 Parochial Vicar Sacred Heart, Munising, 1969
– 1973 Parochial Vicar St. Peter, Marquette
– 1982 Pastor St. Stanislaus Goeztville, with mission in Hessel in addition the missions in DeTour and Drummond Island in 1983
– 1985 Graduate studies at Duquesne University Pittsburgh
– 1988 Chaplain, Marquette General Hospital
“On behalf of the Catholic Church, I offer a sincere apology to all victims of clergy abuse. 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,” said Diocese of Marquette Bishop John Doerfler said.
“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,” a diocese press release stated.
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,” the press release stated.