Bishop William Callahan, administrator for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, announced Thielen's resignation on Saturday while celebrating all the masses at St. Mary's.
Callahan handed out pamphlets to the parishioners and explained there was about $75,000 in church money that was poorly accounted for. They were also told Thielen spent money inappropriately, and that he'd been advised to consult a lawyer.
St. Mary's two lay trustees and the director of administrative services were also removed.
Thielen is a Racine native and the former pastor of St. Lucy's Catholic Church in Racine. He took over as pastor at St. Mary's in 2004. His six-year term was up next year.
It's likely a pastor will be temporarily assigned to St. Mary's until a permanent replacement is named. But only the archbishop can announce a replacement and the Milwaukee Archdiocese is without an archbishop since Timothy Dolan left to take over the New York Diocese.
Here's one comment we received about Thielen's resignation:
I guess the Archdiocese sent some of what they found to the DA. Bishop Callahan began investigating complaints some time ago and a surprise audit of St. Mary's books was done recently by the Archdiocese. This is interesting because Pastors' terms last 6 years and his term expires next year. If they wanted to keep things quiet, they could have waited til next June, moved him to some non-administrative position, and brought in someone as a Parish Administrator to clean things up. They must have been worried about what would have happened to even more money during the interim.