Priest on administrative leave following sexual misconduct allegation

Photo above is from ABC 10 archives.

MARQUETTE — Father Frank M. Lenz, a senior (retired) priest of the Diocese of Marquette, has been placed on administrative leave effective immediately. According to a press release from the Diocese of Marquette, this action was taken as the result of a recently-made credible allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor dating back to the 1970s.

Father 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.

Father 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.

Bishop Doerfler said in the statement, “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.”

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.

The diocese has released information regarding Father Lenz’s assignment history. He was ordained into the priesthood on June 7th, 1969. After that, he was assigned to the following:

  • 1969: Parochial Vicar Sacred Heart Munising
  • 1973: Parochial Vicar St. Peter, Marquette
  • 1975: Parochial Vicar St. Francis De Sales, Manistique with mission in Gulliver
  • 1978: Pastor St. Andrew Nahma with missions in Cooks and Isabella
  • 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
  • 2001: Pastor Holy Family Flat Rock

Father Lenz retired to Senior Priest status in 2007.