St. Pius X Priest Facing Child Sex Abuse Allegations in California
By Jim Price and Viviana Buzo
April 16, 2013
A popular Wauwatosa priest suspended from his duties during an investigation of possible inappropriate behavior with a child is also under investigation in his former California parish and diocese on allegations that he sexually abused two boys when he was pastor there.
Father Robert Marsicek, 71, was suspended from his duties at St. Pius X Church in Wauwatosa last month for allegations of inappropriate contact with a student. The Milwaukee County district attorney said last week that no charges will be filed in connection with the local incident.
A congregational letter signed by the pastor of his former parish in Orangevale, CA, announces the investigation there and also sheds more light on the allegations against Marsicek in Milwaukee.
The letter, approved by the Diocese of Sacramento and signed by Father Roman Mueller, pastor at Divine Savior Parish in Orangevale, says that Marsicek is under investigation by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and has been accused of sexually abusing minors.
A spokesperson for the office of Diocesan Bishop Jaime Soto confirmed to Wauwatosa Patch that Marsicek was under such an investigation and that the letter was authentic.
The letter says that "one of the allegations" involves two subjects who were minors during Marsicek's 14-year tenure at Divine Savior and "the others involve two more recent allegations in Wisconsin."
Thus far, only one allegation of inappropriate behavior with a child had been reported in Wauwatosa, suggesting another may have come to light during that investigation.
The letter also notes authorities in Milwaukee had announced that no charges were being filed against Marsicek, but it adds, "at this time," and says that Marsicek has been removed from ministry and placed under supervision.
The letter was to have been read at all Masses last weekend at Divine Savior Parish, according to diocese spokesman Kevin Eckerly.
The nature of the original allegation against Marsicek in Wauwatosa has not yet been revealed by Archdiocese of Milwaukee or the Wauwatosa Police Department. All that has been released is that a teacher observed what she thought was inappropriate behavior with a child at the school.
St. Pius merged its parish school with that of St. Bernard Parish, 7474 Harwood Ave., two years ago, to form Wauwatosa Catholic School at St. Bernard.
Here is the full text of the letter read at Divine Savior's Masses:
"We have received notice that Fr. Robert Marsicek, a Salvatorian priest and former Pastor of this Parish, has been accused of sexually abusing minors and has been removed from ministry by the Salvatorian Provincial. Fr. Marsicek was serving as pastor of two parishes in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
"One of the allegations involves acts of sexual abuse involving two children who were parishioners at Divine Savior in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The others involve two more recent allegations in Wisconsin.
"We have been advised by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee that the local district attorney in Wisconsin will not be filing criminal charges against Fr. Marsicek at this time. Nonetheless, Fr. Marsicek is presently not permitted to engage in priestly ministry and has been placed by his Provincial Superior under supervision at a Salvatorian residence in Wisconsin while police continue their investigation.
"Information regarding the allegation involving Divine Savior was forwarded to the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department. If you have any information regarding acts of suspected child abuse that may involve Fr. Marsicek, we urge you to contact the Child Abuse Unit at the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department at (916) 874-5191.
"Additionally, if you were abused in any manner by Fr. Marsicek and desire pastoral care and assistance, you are invited to contact either the Pastoral Assistance Coordinator for the Salvatorian Order or the Victim Assistance Coordinator for the Diocese of Sacramento.
"We ask you to pray for all concerned."