Breaking: USCCB general secretary resigns amid allegations of improper behavior

Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill / U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Washington D.C., Jul 20, 2021 / 10:44 am (CNA).

The general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops resigned from his post on Tuesday, ahead of media reports detailing possible misconduct. 

Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill stepped down from his post as the conference’s general secretary, USCCB President Archbishop Jose Gomez announced in a memo to all U.S. bishops reported first by the National Catholic Reporter.

“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 Gomez, 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 Gomez.

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. Burrill was due to serve a five-year term as the USCCB’s general secretary.

Prior to his term as general secretary, Burrill had served as Associate General Secretary for the USCCB since 2016. He is a priest of the Diocese of La Crosse and had previously served as a formator at the Pontifical North American College. 

Gomez announced that Fr. 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 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.

This story is developing.