LA CROSSE (WI)
WSAW [Wausau, WI]
October 24, 2022
By Heather Poltrock
The pastor of two Wausau area catholic churches has resigned following allegations he had sexual conduct with a minor several decades ago.
Rev. Msgr. Mark Pierce was a pastor at St. Michael and Resurrection Parishes. On Oct. 23, the congregation at St. Anne’s church was notified of the news as their pastor, Father Tom Lindner opened service with a statement from Bishop William Patrick Callahan. Father Linder opened the service and announced he had some very distressing news to share.
He asked the members of St. Anne’s to pray for their neighbors at St. Michael and Resurrection Parishes.
In a statement from Bishop Callahan Father Lindner read:
“It is with great sadness that I share with you this news that an allegation concerning Monsignor Mark Pierce and sexual misconduct with a minor was received this week. While the misconduct occurred several decades ago, our procedures are clear. And we notified my senior peers of the accusation placed him on a leave of absence and relieved him from ministerial duties. Please join me as I pray for the victim-survivor, the affected parishioners and all the clergy across our diocese.”
Father Lindner continued reading a statement from Msgr. Pierce.
“After many years of neglect, I’m being called to face the wrong I have caused someone by behavior inappropriate for a priest. Facing up to what I have done now is what requires that I resign as your pastor I am truly sorry for the hurt I have caused one person in particular, and the embarrassment I brought on you all.”
Diocesan Statement Regarding Monsignor Mark Pierce
The Diocese of La Crosse recently received an allegation accusing Monsignor Mark Pierce of sexual misconduct with a minor. While the misconduct occurred several decades ago, our procedures remain clear. We immediately notified Monsignor Pierce of the accusation, placed him on a leave of absence, and relieved him from ministerial duties.
We will address these allegations promptly and compassionately, consistent with our published policies and procedures.
I am incredibly saddened, and my thoughts are first with the victim/survivor. Processes and actions designed to comfort and assure this person guide us now. Please join me as I pray for the victim/survivor, the affected parishioners, and all the clergy across our Diocese who tend to their faithful with fidelity and compassion.
May the Lord continue to bless us, protect us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.
Most Reverend William Patrick Callahan
Bishop of La Crosse