USCCB General Secretary Resigns Amid Allegations of Improper Behavior
According to Archbisop José Gomez, Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill was not accused of misconduct with minors, but resigned immediately ‘to avoid becoming a distraction to the operations and ongoing work of the Conference.’
The general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops resigned on Tuesday, ahead of media reports detailing possible misconduct.
Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill stepped down from his post, Archbishop José Gomez, president of the USCCB, announced in a memo to all U.S. bishops, as reported by various news sites. The Pillar reported it had initiated an investigation of Msgr. Burrill and was attempting to present the material to the USCCB.
“On Monday, we became aware of impending media reports alleging possible improper behavior by Msgr. Burrill,” said Archbishop Gomez’s July 20 memo.
According to Archbisop Gomez, Msgr. Burrill was not accused of misconduct with minors, but resigned immediately “to avoid becoming a distraction to the operations and ongoing work of the Conference.”
“The Conference takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and will pursue all appropriate steps to address them,” said Archbishop Gomez.
The report, published Tuesday afternoon by The Pillar, alleges that Msgr. Burrill frequented gay bars and private residences while using a popular “hook-up” app on his mobile device. The report is based on what it described as an analysis of commercially available app data correlated to Msgr. Burrill’s mobile device. The analysis shows that Msgr. Burrill used the app Gridr on a near-daily basis during parts of 2018, 2019 and 2020, according to the report.
Msgr. Burrill was elected to the post of general secretary at the November 2020 assembly of the USCCB, replacing Msgr. Brian Bransfield, whose term had ended. Msgr. Burrill was due to serve a five-year term as the USCCB’s general secretary.
Prior to his term as general secretary, Msgr. Burrill had served as associate general secretary for the USCCB since 2016. He is a priest of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, and had previously served as a formator at the Pontifical North American College.
Archbishop Gomez announced that Father Michael Fuller has been appointed as interim general secretary and said that there will be a new election in the future.
“I ask for your prayers for Monsignor, and for the Conference staff during this difficult time,” said Archbishop Gomez. “I pray that all those affected might find strength and comfort in our merciful Lord.”
The conference general secretary oversees USCCB staff, projects and committees, and facilitates dialogue between U.S. bishops and offices of the Vatican Curia.
Register staff added to this report.