August 16, 2009

Father Jeff Thielen resigns from St. Mary's in Burlington

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee announced Saturday that Father Jeff Thielen, pastor of St. Mary's Immaculate Conception Parish in Burlington, had resigned amid questions of financial mismanagement.

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.

148 comments:

  1. Can't trust ANYONE anymore. Very sad and pathetic.

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  2. The pastoral leadership of this parish has been sad and pathetic for some time, IMHO.

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  3. "If they wanted to keep things quiet, they could have waited til next June, moved him to some non-administrative position..."

    No. Misapproriation of funds is a criminal act. If it turns out be just that, this guy needs to be fired.

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  4. Mrs. R. Snyder8/17/2009 6:46 AM

    Does anyone know how he got the money for the condo here and the condo down south?

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  5. Pete and Dustin - why did you pull the article about Nicholson - I see you have no problem going after a Catholic priest. The truth hurts on both accounts, but I guess we can put comments on any article posted or not.

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  6. Pete and Dustin - I reverse my comment - the article is still out there. My 1st mistake of the year.

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  7. Things aren't that different in the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee (overseeing us here in SE Wisconsin) where fewer and fewer (and older and older) people in the pews have forced literally every Episcopal church and parish in the Racine area to dip, precariously, into whatever is left of its endowment fund(s) to finance current operations. (IMHO), anytime there is such "top-down" leadership and management, extreme care needs to be taken, especially, with stewardship of the powers-that-be.

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  8. Does Jeff still have a girlfriend?

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  9. which one?

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  10. Never trusted him at St. Lucy's either. Thats why he left.

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  11. I thought all Priests had a condo, a big SUV, and a vacation home in Scottsdale. That's not part of the benefit package?

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  12. Dolan was told about this guy but chose to ignore it. Before this is over Dolan should be forced to account for his lack of action. This shows how backward the Catholic Church has become. Dolan ignores warnings about financial and moral issues about a priest and gets a better job. Dolan now has an even bigger operation to screw up. All that matters to Rome is that you spout off conservative dogma.

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  13. Dolan did great things for this area - Anon 8:46 - prove your accusations before you tarnish a name.

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  14. As to Dolan's role, the Arch was well aware of issues surrounding the manner in which the new gym was built for Catholic Central on St. Mary's Parish property. It was done in violation of arch policies and procedures. But, Dolan chose to sweep it all under the rug.

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  15. 9:03 - prove it or shut up.

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  16. Leaving a budget theatre showing of "The DaVinci Code," two church worker colleagues of mine commented on the inaccuracies of the story, saying things were a bit askew at best. I noted that, if someone wanted to portray a scandalous story about the Roman Catholic Church, they certainly would not have to stoop to fiction.

    In fairness, any church probably has similar stories. But...this many?

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  17. Maybe he got caught spending money on his girlfriend. Maybe his girlfriend dumped him and he was spending money on other types...

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  18. Further proof that religion is ruining this country.

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  19. Sailors Pool Hall8/17/2009 12:36 PM

    American Catholics need to break away from Rome as soon as possible. Rome is concerned only with protecting its wealth and pedophiles. An American Catholic Church would be safer and saner. Stop feeding the beast.

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  20. WHAT HAPPENED TO ST. LUCYS SETTLEMENT FROM THE CONTRACTOR WHO BUILD THE CHURCH. THE ENDOWMENT FUND FR. VIDA HAD NEVER TO BE USED EXCEPT THE INTREST.NOW WE ARE A POOR PARISHTRYING TO MAKE ENDS MEAT.MAYBE THEY SHOULD LOOK AT WHAT FR.JEFF DID WITH THE MONEY FROM ST. LUCYS.

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  21. WHAT HAPPENED TO ST. LUCYS SETTLEMENT FROM THE CONTRACTOR WHO BUILD THE CHURCH. THE ENDOWMENT FUND FR. VIDA HAD NEVER TO BE USED EXCEPT THE INTREST.NOW WE ARE A POOR PARISHTRYING TO MAKE ENDS MEAT.MAYBE THEY SHOULD LOOK AT WHAT FR.JEFF DID WITH THE MONEY FROM ST. LUCYS.

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  22. Something to ponder... Fr. Thielen has been a vocal critic of the way the Archdiocese has handled alleged cases of abuse by priests. With the Lawrence Murphy debacle and the pending disastrous outcome for the institution, could this be a ploy to discredit and silence?

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  23. Does anyone know who the trustees of the parish are - they should also be held accountable and responsible.

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  24. Those who are without sin may through the first stone.

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  25. There you go:

    Dianna Nienhaus, Trustee

    Julian Warren, Trustee

    According to their website.

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  26. Anon 8:49, wake up! There was lots of negativity caused, due to FR. T & his so called e.a. J.T., both at St Lucy, then at St. Mary. Many people had approached both RGW & TMD about him, but were given the deaf ear. Maybe now the Archdiocese will finally come to terms with these rogues in the field.

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  27. 4:35 - hearsay - show me the proof.

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  28. 4:47, you bet it is! Ask anyone who has served in the employ at St Lucy or St Mary, sadly they know.

    Unless of course you are Fr T!

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  29. what about all the good he has done?
    ever since he spoke up about the archbishop he has been black balled.
    Unless you know first hand the series of events you should not be speaking.

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  30. what about all the good he has done?
    ever since he spoke up about the archbishop he has been black balled.
    Unless you know first hand the series of events you should not be speaking.

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  31. Racine Resident8/17/2009 5:26 PM

    Anon 8:46, that is an absolute stupid statement about "conservative dogma." Almost every conservative that I know is totally in favor of birth control, which is completely anti-Catholic. Most of them, like me, are not Catholic at all, but Protestant, or Jewish or some other faith. Don't blame conservatives for the dogma of the CATHOLIC church.

    Sailor's Pool Hall, check out the history of the Catholic Church dating back to its origins and you'll see that it has always been about money, power, manipulation, and protecting its pedophiles and homosexuals. The Catholic Church has always been one of the most corrupt institutions on the planet. But don't hold your breath about American Catholic churches breaking away from Rome, they are not going to give up that power, money and protection.

    Anon 12:14, religion IS NOT ruining this country. What a stupid statement. Polls have shown that 80% of the population of the U.S. are Christians of some type, part of the moral fiber that keeps this country together. This country was founded on Christian principles for Pete's sake! Two-Hunderd years of those priciples made us what we were until the liberals gained control over the government some 60 or so years ago. It's not religion that's tearing this country apart, it's liberalsim and socialism (i.e. baby killers, homo lovers, welfare proliferators, illegal alien lovers) making all the things that are immoral and downright wrong into being "OK." That's what's tearing this country apart; people like YOU.

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  32. Fr T never responded to the needs of his parishoners. He was followed around by a strange little man, and avoided emails, phone calls and direct contact. He was the artful dodger. Once in a conversation he became defensive and quite belligerent. His method of avoiding the issue. No spiritual guidance, just alot of blah, blah, blah.

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  33. Jim Beinecke8/17/2009 6:32 PM

    This just goes to prove that no good deed will go unpunished. Fr Jeff is an admirable man and a Good priest. But there are always those who feel the need to detract a good person. Many are those who thought that Christs' leadership was patehtic too. wagging tongues can always find reasons to detract even the best. Facts are irrelevant to those who have an axe to grind

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  34. Jimbo - are you saying Jeff never had an affair while he has been a priest?

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  35. I never took it upon myself to follow Fr. Jeff that closely. What I can say is that I dont have to hide behind an annonymous pen and cast aspersions. If you feel you are so righteous to make an accusation, back it up with a name

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  36. Annonymous 6:36
    And did you know for a fact that he did have an affair!
    Were you there?????
    Was it with you????
    Then shut up!!!!

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  37. I don't know what Father Jeff did during his spare time, but I DO know what he did for my family and me. He was there for us when my grandparents died. He went house to house to support my mom when she had to tell her parents and other relatives that her only son, at 16, had passed away. He showed compassion and support that my family will never forget! Father Jeff performed 4 weddings for the women in our family and several baptisms. I am not saying Father Jeff is perfect, but he was there for us like a priest should be. Before you jump to conclusions to what Father did or did not do, please remember what he DID do fir my family. We will forever be grateful.

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  38. I heard his g/f was the administrative assistant in Burlington. He created a position for her out there when St. Lucy's let her go. As far as his condos, I think he still rents the one in Racine and maybe St. Lucy's bought the one out westcuz he has had it for awhile. Too bad we can't even trust the priests. Oh wait, we haven't been able to for a long time now! May God bless the Church to get the truth out there so the poor parishioners money is once and for all protected.

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  39. Michael Kroes8/17/2009 8:50 PM

    I am not defending anyone here. I have to agree with Jim Beinecke though regarding his suggestion that people attach there real name to any statements that are accusatory in nature. Likewise for statements that convey "facts". Otherwise, its too easy to spew drivel under the cloak of anonymity. If you are writing truths on this blog (or any blog), you should not be ashamed to stand behind what you say. W all appreciate credible sources.

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  40. Jeff ole boy created his own drivel. He should know better than to chase skirts

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  41. Joyce Kettler8/17/2009 9:15 PM

    There have been many things said about Father Thielen over the years. Things regarding money, his mistress, his condos, his support of the parishes he was at. I don't know what the truth is, but when you keep hearing the same things from credible people, I do believe there is truth to what has been said. The Catholic Church is behind the times. It is a good 'ole boy network with many demons in its mist.

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  42. The Catholic church has be let down by priest before, but never by God. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Keep the Faith.

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  43. All you are doing is fueling a "hang him" fire. Fr Jeff continues to be punished for speaking up against the handling of pedophiles and his comments about Weakland. I don't think those "good ole boys" in the archdiocese took that real well.

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  44. This guy married the “Ex”-wife and me 6 years ago. Does that mean my marriage is null and void?? (yippi!) I always wondered why Jeff never showed up after I invited him to the reception dinner at Roma Lodge... The church definitely needs an overhauling. money,money,money...! Father Vadja would have never done that! By the way.... Why was Father Vadja's house torn down right after Mister Jeff became Pastor?? Many questions, few real answers (what a shame)...

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  45. This business about punishment for speaking out is nice spin, but not true. I'm sure the details will come out. When they do, you will all see the truth.

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  46. I love all of you people who think you know all the answers. Some of you cannot even speak or spell correctly! Please!
    If you really are Christians why don't you act like it.
    Remember the song Harper Valley PTA...this is just a little Payton Place and you are Harper Valley hypocrites. How appropriate for this!!
    And yes Mrs Snyder..the condo here is paid for by the church. Just like the rectories at all churches.
    What about the condo for Fr. Crewe and Fr. Dietzler??? Why not question them???
    And annon 2:28, what about your dear Fr. Jones...they say he stole from the proceeds of the church festival. But he had someone at your church delete all of the information in his computer prior to his audit. Were you aware of that you moron? Learn how to spell before you type.

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    1. don't bring Fr. Crewe name into it He was the paster of my parish before retiring and he lived in the retory of the parish!!! so get your info right please.

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  47. Girlfriends do not come cheap.

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  48. All these little anonymous writings spouting off this and that remind me of the little bratty school kid who can never get along with the other kids so he finds a way to get to the other side of the fence where he feels protecred and throws stones and epiteths because he's too much of a coward to to stay on the playground and raise his objection.

    It is forums like this where you can see who the real little brats are even though like Jim said they hide under the title anonymous.

    Look at how many have heard it from somebody who heard it from somebody but now they have to become the spokesperson. thats called gossip and does very little to prove anything, The reason they hear it from people that have heard it from other people is because they are so untrustworthy that the no one wants to directly associate with them. Thus the chinese whisper.

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  49. Oh, Mike D... (Like there is only one 'Mike D' who, of course, everyone can identify.) Perhaps I would agree with you that these blogs or whatever they are called are inane. People can hide and spout off whatever they want. But, when it comes to church matters, so many people have been harmed by bad decisions in this community that maybe little forums (fora, for some) like these provide at least some relief from the burden of having had no one genuinely listen to their experiences and concerns. Articulate? Not always. Objective? Probably not. But then, no one has to read these, either.

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  50. Of all the hypicritical posts on here, this one has to be the funniest:

    "All these little anonymous writings spouting off this and that remind me of the little bratty school kid who can never get along with the other kids so he finds a way to get to the other side of the fence where he feels protecred and throws stones and epiteths because he's too much of a coward to to stay on the playground and raise his objection."

    -Mike D (not anonymous, lol)

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  51. For all of those who are shouting for proof of the alegations, what type of proof would they like? I can say that I have firsthand knowledge of many of these facts, but how would that prove anything? And as far as putting a name behind the post, what does that prove? a.) How do I know that "Mike Kroes" is really Mike Kroes (if one even exists)? b.) This board is not a court of law. It is simply a place for people who have feelings on stories to comment no them. Do not get worked up on each individual's comment.

    Best of luck to Father Thielen. Like many of us, he has his faults, and I'm sure he'd be the first to admit it. Just like in politics, the sharks are now circling and I think any one of us, when looked at under a microscope, would have plenty to be ashamed of. In the end, I do believe Father Thielen is a good person at heart and hope this incident proves to be just a bump in the road for him.

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  52. I have known fr. Jeff for a long time and he has had plety of dealings with my family. My uncle did alot for him and the parish of St. Lucys with little thanks or praise. Fr. never even showed up to the hospital when he wa on his deathbed, asking for him, let alone even make the visitation or funeral, THEREFORE I have my own reasons for my dislike of him, however, I feel instead of all the gossip and talk that is going on about him is not only a waste of time, but also simply unneeded. Our religion teaches us that God is our final judge and jury, therefore let him do his job justly. If all of the accusations about father Jeff are true, God will deal out his due punishment, and from the way it sounds, there are quite alot of sins to be dealt with.......

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  53. Amen!!!
    It is a shame how a woman can ruin a man.

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  54. I going to send Jeff a gift of soap on a rope - he'll need it soon.

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  55. If you want to call the church and ask them where they have been during all of this try this phone number...

    Et cum spiri 220.

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  56. Callahan is nothing more than a Dolan "wannabe." It's no coincidence that a new archbishop will soon be named. How good it will look on his resume to bring shame on someone who had the nerve to speak against the pervs.

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  57. I just can't help but think of Our Lord coming to the aid of the Magdalene when all the villagers came out to stone her. How good and righteous most of them felt about themselves and how they felt that they were doing Gods work by stoning someone that they felt deserved it. It's also intersting how Jesus sat down to write in the sand, and as each person saw their sins being written down for all to see one by one they took off head down and tail between their legs.

    How easy it is to criticize and condemn others. I also belive our Lord said something to the effect of pulling the log out of your own eye before looking at the spec in someone else's

    Father is being accused here of a lot of things that have nothing to do with why he resigned or the charges that may or may not be leveled against him. I was never on a personal level with him myself,and I doubt that he even knows who I am, but I never felt the need for him to hold my hand either.

    He taught us our faith, instructed our children, and administered the Sacraments. And I think he even mentioned that he went to confession too. ( I think that means that he had sins to confess) I'm sorry he couldn't be as perfect as all the stone throwers here. Just think when we get to heaven you guys can all crowd around the front rows seats with God and the saints, while Jeff and I can sit in the nose bleed section. Then you can finally feel so good about yourselves for the place you so rightly deserve

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  58. And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, yes they'll know we are Christians by our love. Yeah right!

    Wah wah wah, Fr. Jeff wasn't there for me. Go cry about it!! He probably had people with real concerns to care for. Not some crybabies like all of you are. Maybe your families did go to St. Lucy's for years, but what did they do for the parish????

    You are probably those same people that come to church on Easter and Christmas and throw a dollar in the collection. Sit in the front row and think you are better than anyone.

    And what about Fr. Jones and the women I see him with.
    And his comment when he got new glasses, do you think I look sexy??? He made that comment while on the altar.

    If you are going to knock one than be fair and knock them all.

    St. Lucy's had money when Fr. Jeff left.. Fr Jones had some fun spending it! Believe it or not.

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  59. The perversion is that Thielen and his girlfriend could systematically loot parishes while at the same time professing to proclaim the Word of God. His words on Sunday did not equate to his actions during the week. The faith that he taught was not the faith that he lived and modeled for our children.

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  60. Anon 3:28 -

    "knock them all" - careful what you wish for.

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  61. This is what Thielen had to say about Weakland paying out $450k in hush money:

    "I am so afraid that people will be angry and cut back on their donations," said Father Jeff Thielen, pastor of St. Lucy Catholic Church of Racine.

    AND

    Father Thielen said he welcomed the news media attention this case and others involving the church have attracted.

    ''With all the things that are going on in the church,'' he said, ''sunlight is the best disinfectant.''

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  62. As I read these blogs i wonder if we are christians, but..... my family was a member of St. Lucy since it was located on Drexel ave. All 4 of us kids went to school there. We attended mass every week. Us kids thought it was great when FR. Jeff gave us a high five. When dad was hospitalized for over a month and even upon request, Fr. Jeff never visited my dad. I often wondered why. Later; found out he was on another vacation. I confronted him and he laughed it off. I did not find humor in the situation. Dad donated their live savings to that church and two weeks later he had a new SUV. Go figure. The FACT is he had more vacations then anyone.
    As for the girlfriends (better than little boys!)but just ask one of the ladies husbands or ex-husbands now.......
    Where is Fr. Vadja now? Im sure he has rolled over a few times in his grave. All the money he saved and Fr. Jeff spent! CRAZY world. Love you all. God be the judge and let the rest of us vent out our frustrations and thoughts. P.S. members of St. Pauls now and loving it.

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  63. Ok, how about a coulple fun facts for all you better than thou's. Did he do everything by the book? probably not! did he steal from the parish? most likely not! Is there money that is not accounted for? most certainly or this would not have come about.
    He pointed out as late as the last bulletin that teachers here have been underpaid and that maybe a gift card here and there can do an enormous job at making them feel more appreciated. I also realize that making argument points here for people that already had it in for him will do little to change any opinion now. But 75,000 over three years? cmon guys your making people feel a little better about a job that is not at a competitive salary. He spent enormous amounts of time going to nursing homes and attending school functions and visitng the sick (and spending gas to do so) .

    But oh yes lets get out the magnifying glass and point out his faults because he didn't come to your house every week for a feel good group hug. I just cant believe there were that many crybabies out there.

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  64. Please!!!! Look at the good in people if Father Jeff is guilty of all the things people are accusing him of that's between God and him and if so the legal system. I could probally say he did't act alone. Also, Too all the converts out there if you don't like the catholic church go out and find another church where you would fit,but I highly doubt it you would be happy anywhere.

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  65. iron sparks, maybe he was better visiting the sick and doing the things a priest should do when he went to your church because he CERTAINLY did not do what he was paid for at st. lucy's. It's not called whining, it would be called being disgusted because someone is not doing the job they are being paid VERY WELL to do. He had his group of friends and they got the goods but a lowly parishioner was ignored at a time of need. It was how "much you gave" that mattered. I guess we know why. he had lots of parties for his friends and took them out to dinner and gave gift cards out to people he knew with church money for whatever reasons. That was parishioners money and a select few friends should not have benefitted from it. that is one way money was wasted. by the way, priests are paid very well and their housing is supplied along with some car expenses. they do not go along with the vow of poverty. he better hope he gets to stay a priest. he doesn't know how to be without or to actually work for a living. he is spoiled. the archdiocese is not out to get him. they heard plenty from st. lucy peoiple and did nothing. i commend st. mary's for not letting him continue his outrageous spending. i think they learned from st lucy's trust in him.

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  66. DID FR. MARK TAKE FROM THIS YEARS FESTIVAL OR LAST YEARS.THATS WHY WE SHOULD GIVE MORE MONEY TO THE CHURCH SO THEY CAN LIVE BETTER THAN US WHO HAVE TO WORK FOR A LIVING.

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  67. Channel 4 at 6 pm this evening interviewed Ms. Wolf from the Diocese. She stated "we (the diocese)take the stewardship of donations from parishoners very seriously". Come on....Archbishop Weakland and THE DIOCESE paid a $500,000.00 of hush money to a male student of Marquette University that Weakland had sex with. A heck of a lot more serious than gift cards.....I'd say. How two faced of Ms. Wolf and the entire Diocese.

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  68. Fr. Jeff has the gift of bringing hundreds of people together to worship God. All these negative comments make me sick.

    Yes, Fr. Jeff, will be judged by God. However, all you people writing these nasty comments about Fr. Jeff will be too. Shame on you and may God have mercy on YOU!.

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  69. To the previous poster: Why do you think so many people have it out for Father Thielen? I do not think it is in most people's nature to dislike a priest without cause? Just the opposit, in fact. And I don't think jealousy comes into play here. If so, jealous of what?

    These are mostly parishiners of Father's current or previous parish. Most probably have legitimate gripes, and are thus venting them here. Others (like yourself) have favorable views of Father, and will point out the many good things he has done (becoming in a priest, in and of itself commands respect, imo).

    Your concern is appreciated, but I do not think posters need worry about God punishing their souls for venting frustration they have experienced in the past.

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  70. I am the previous poster you are referring to. And, yes, I am a previous parishioner as well. Father Jeff has been the target of many issues from other parishioners - accused of money issues, church building issues and having a girlfriend - none of which have been verified.

    In the business world (yes the Catholic Church is a business), if you are successful - you will be well compensated for it. Father Jeff deserves the little finer things in life because he is a successful priest - far superior to any other in our Diocese.

    For those Catholics that have donated to the recent "Faith of our Future" campaign run by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, I would suggest calling for an audit. There is where you will find wrongful spending. If you think those dollars are being spent on Catholic Education (which was promised)- I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

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  71. Previous poster at 7:39 a.m. -

    AMEN TO THAT! Everything you have said is right on.

    The diocese IS a bunch of hypocrites.

    Read the REAL article about what Fr Jeff had to say about pedophiles and Weakland, vs the posting above:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/24/us/shock-over-accusations-in-milwaukee.html

    The diocese hypocrites are getting even.

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  72. To Anon 7:39AM:

    You said, "Father Jeff has been the target of many issues from other parishioners - accused of money issues, church building issues and having a girlfriend - none of which have been verified. "

    Just because something is not verified by you, doesn't mean it isn't true. I do not know everything that Fr. Theilen has or hasn't done. But I do know, with 100% certainty and first hand knowledge, that at least one of the alegations are true. I am not going to get into specifics because this is not a trial. What I am saying, though, is that some people who are posting these gripes are justified in doing so. Just because you don't have first hand knowledge of something to be a fact, doesn't mean the other posters don't either.

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  73. To Anon 8:24, if you really believe that this is a plot to silence Fr. Jeff, I have bridge to sell you. You have seen one too many movies.

    I commend what Fr. Jeff has said about Weakland. Fr. Jeff has had issues with Weakland well before this entire story became public, and clearly Fr. Jeff is on the right side of this issue.

    Trust me, though, there is not an order coming down from Rome (or even Milwaukee) to cook the books and frame Fr. Jeff in a plot for revenge. 99% of Catholics don't even know the name of the priests who spoke out publically, so I don't think the Archdiocese of Milwaukee is now celebrating because they have discredited the infamous Fr. Jeff.

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  74. Fr. Jeff - I'm sending you a soap on the rope to use while you are showering with Bubba.

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  75. To Anon 9:50... I have seen a lot of movies, but I also worked in the Archdiocese for over 17 years. I don't know the details of this particular supposed scandal, but I have witnessed, first hand, enough events -- both publicized and those yet uncovered -- to lend credibility to a possible attempt to discredit.

    Any institution has an inherent desire to protect itself. The lengths to which the Church has gone to do so violate the basic principles upon which its teachings are based.

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  76. Too.. Anonymous,You are sick for the soap on the rope, keep talking maybe it will be you someday

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  77. John Erikson8/19/2009 12:41 PM

    being able to add comments to news articles on websites like this & the Journal Times just creates more hate & misinformation.

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  78. For those of you who think that it is not the people's place to deal with Fr. T and that God will deal with him in the next life, that is somewhat misguided. Are you suggesting that nothing be done and he should be left to continue acting as he has? That's just stupid. Inaction can be just as sinful as wrongful action. It's said that God helps those who help themselves. Therefore, people who refuse to help themselves to be rid of priests of this sort are not doing themselves, or their parish, any good, and that is wrong.

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  79. He is not guilty until proven innocent.

    None of us are, according to the law.

    Get over yourself, Mr. Soap on a rope.

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  80. AMEN, Anon 11:26, John E, and Anon 1:45!!!!

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  81. The line should read: "He is innocent until proven guilty."
    PLEASE everyone who feels the need to comment; learn how to spell correctly and learn the correct way to say familiar sayings and quotations; least you appear ignorant.

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  82. Dear anon 9:42 am 08/19/2009

    I doubt you have first hand knowledge. Why do I say this? Because it is "Fr. Thielen" not "Fr. Theilen". If you do not even know how to spell his name correctly. Thus, instead of first hand knowledge - you have first hand gossip.

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  83. Maybe he will not need the soap, he might enjoy bubba

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  84. Even righteous anger -- with the leadership of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, not Father Thielen -- needs to be redirected eventually. Therefore, I am moving on from this... And wish all involved a peaceful and just resolution.

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  85. Jeff get ready to bend over. Bubba is waiting.

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  86. Anon 2:33, you are a moron. Nothing personal.

    I apologize I misspelled his name. I'll admit I do not type it very often. I do not spread gossip. I do not even spread damaging facts about others. I'm just confirming that other people know things that you do not. You can believe what you want to. In fact, I encourage you to not be persuaded by others (or my) comments. I'm simply saying don't accuse others for being upset for "unverified accusations", when you have no idea what is and isn't false. In fact, if you are so upset about seeing other people vent their frustrations, why read the posts? You certainly aren't going to set the record straight (even if you knew what you were talking about).

    Again, no offense.

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  87. anon 3:54.......
    Refreshing words & so true! His scarred history is a long one (beginning with St. Lucy's that I know of), with much reason for the mess he is in. Perhaps some justice will be done...finally!

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  88. Thanks for calling me a moron you Christian you. You must have seen him steal money. Thats the only way to have first hand knowledge-otherwise its hearsay. Keep talking and spreading your rumors if you wish. But, smile and think of my blogs when he is acquitted of these accusations.

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  89. having taken the time to read every single comment so far, I hope you can afford me the opportunity to say a few words as well, being familiar with not only Fr. Jeff but Fr Mark as well (but why we need to drag even more priests into what is already a sad discussion is beyond me...I mean, do you really care about Fr. Bill's condo???)

    I was raised to never speak ill of a priest. Whether it's true or not. Quaint? perhaps. But they share in the priesthood of Christ himself and all the rumors and whining and bitching should be left to the side. For anyone really. Priest or not. YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO RUN PEOPLE'S NAMES THROUGH THE MUD TO SATISFY YOUR VENGEANCE.

    Why talk crap?

    If something is true take it up with those who are either their fellow priests or those who are their superiors. Give whatever proof you have. Let them deal with it. But don't be a bunch of old gossipy women for godsakes.

    If you DON'T have any proof, and you simply dislike someone, then shut the hell up.

    Do I like Fr. Jeff?

    nope.

    Do I personally suspect that absolutely everything charged against him is true.

    yup, maybe I do.

    would I EVER get online though and accuse him of all the rest of what I've read here tonight?

    no....not EVER. not even if I knew something beyond a doubt.

    If he's committed a crime, let the DA sort it out. If he's committed a sin let his confessor, his bishop and his God sort it out.

    WHO ARE YOU TO EXPOSE HIS PERSONAL SINS TO THE WORLD??? Have you never sinned?

    no???

    ....you just did!! simply by your vicious gossip. It's called "detraction".

    for shame!! shame on each and every one of you who feels that smug self satisfaction in reveling in someone else's sins, crimes, and (to your unadulterated glee) possible punishment.

    I'd worry about your own punishment, if I were you.

    If our priests are failing it is because we are not praying for them. We are not supporting them or encouraging them or making sacrifices to protect them from all the multitude of temptations.

    but boy are we quick to pile on top of them when they are caught in the act, eh?

    and ANONYMOUSLY as well....how very immature. If you cannot sign you name to your sick posts then your words have no credibility at all you cowards!!!

    there's a difference between discussing an issue in the news and the sick display of maliciousness going on here.

    now you want to drag other priests into it as well???

    whatever sins they may or may not have committed, they're likely to have been done out of weakness.

    BUT YOURS!!!!....yours are from maliciousness and spite, and in the final accounting of things THAT will be punished more severely.

    I suggest you think on that before you post anything else.

    -Taynia Rasberry

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  90. Anonymous 2:15.
    I believe you mean, "lest they appear...", not least.

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  91. This blog is disgusting. For those of you non-Catholics posting about how horrible the church is, I will never be able to convince you how great Christ's Church is. I am assuming that most of you though are Catholic. You should be ashamed of talking about your Church, your bishops, and your priests like this.

    Weakland keeps getting brought up. His actions are an embarrassment to the entire diocese, and harm the image of the Church as a whole. But we are talking about the sinful actions of one man, not the actions of the Church. Same with Father Jeff. The reason the diocese is coming down on him right now is because his behavior, if true, is unacceptable.

    Let me get this strait … the Church is horrible because it has bad priests, but when the Church attempts to investigate and deal with bad priests then it is some kind of mafia agency?

    To the person who accused Father Mark. How dare you? Firstly, I know Fr. Mark very well and I know that he is not a thief. He is the strongest most obedient priest in Racine (perhaps in the diocese). He is willing to stick his neck out to do what is right, and he never waters down the truth. Fr Jeff is being accused formally after being thoroughly audited. That is much different than someone anonymously planting poisonous seeds in peoples heads.

    If it turns out that Fr Jeff did what he is accused of, it will be natural for people to be angered by his actions. But this is not a mark against the Church it is a mark against the man.

    If you are really Catholic, you need to respect the priests who give their entire lives in service to Christ. You are absolutely, without a doubt, required as a Catholic to show the utmost respect for our bishops.

    Come to Church EVERY Sunday, go to confession before receiving Christ's true presence in the Eucharist, submit to the authority of the Church and abide by the precepts and commandments. That is what really matters. That is what our Church is. Don't let our Church be defined by the tiny minority of bad priests or corrupt bishops. If you are Catholic, defend your Church to the death. You all are tearing your own Church apart. If you cannot support your Church, help to build it up, and abide fully in her laws … you should leave. I don't say that to be mean. I say that because if you do not submit fully to the authority of the Church, you are NOT Catholic. So when you say you are, it skews the societal perception of what our Church really is and destroys our credibility.

    Please stop this nonsense.

    Brandon Amason
    Roman Catholic
    St. Lucy Parish

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  92. Bend over Jeff

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  93. thank you Brandon!

    and I'd like to add to my little comment just above his that defamation is not covered under first amendment rights and if I were Father Mark I'd be telling the rumormongers here to lawyer up. Names, ISP's and PC ID numbers are obtainable you know...

    do you really think you're anonymous? I'd think again if I were you. NOTHING is anonymous online.

    - Taynia Rasberry

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  94. 9:40 and what are they going to charge me with for the bend over comment - you are charged with bad humor - ha, ha.

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  95. not sure you were being talked to by anyone mate.....your posts don't merit comment.

    -TR

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  96. Rumor mongering is deplorable, and people who really don't know any of the facts would be wise to keep silent.

    Also deplorable is suggesting to people that they should 'lawyer up.' Doesn't the church have enough on its legal plate? The reminder of legal ramifications seems a bit like a threat, especially when it's directed in such a general manner. Deference to the old 'pray, pay, and obey' notion of Catholicism never really served anyone well, least of all the God to whom we owe obedience. Listen to the priests and bishops, but take their words with at least a few grains of salt. The well formed soul can appreciate wisdom regarding matters of faith and morals from many sources.

    This blog has gone off in many tangents, but all seem to be focused on the tragedy of leadership gone awry and the disappointment and anger that develop from it. That said, it is sad to see that some equate holiness with submission to the authority of the Church. While the ultimate authority rests in the workings of the Holy Spirit, the faithful who encounter other church leaders on their way to a fuller understanding of God may have a hard time embracing the command to submit to the authority of others who, like all of us, sometimes fail miserably.

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  97. 11:43 - What the hell are you talking about - what nonsense.

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  98. 11:43 -- I'm sorry that you apparently do not understand.

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  99. The sad reality is that Father Jeff is the reason I left the Catholic Church. I was student at St. Lucy's when Father Jeff was appointed to replace father Vida and he completely transformed our parish and school. My parents were very involved in the church and school during the 16 year relationship fostered while my family attended 1-8th grades. Because our family wasn't a big contributor to the church outside of the annual membership dues and school tuition, he humiliated my parents and removed them from several of the committees they had founded and maintained for years, only to replace them with younger, more financially viable individuals.

    Father Jeff was not a nice man. Behind closed doors, Father Jeff was known to belittle folks and speak nastily to anyone who questioned him or who wanted to make a difference. Everything Father Jeff did was self-serving, including his outdoor shrine at St. Lucy's. Father Jeff forced good people out of St. Lucy's both staff and members of the church. He promoted individuals who were loyal to him, notably females.

    Sadly, even though it is some 20 years later, I find great solace in the fact that justice has finally come for Father Jeff. I hope this humbles him and feel sorry for the members of the parishes he has stolen from and for the lives he has changed for the worse. I have to say this message board speaks for itself...I don't see a lot of Father Jeff Supporters saying how he changed their lives for the better....perhaps that will be me...with this news...now I have a reason to have faith that God does work in mysterious ways...My Sunday plans have changed and for the first time in 15 years, I plan to go willingly to Sunday mass.

    Thank you for renewing my faith in God Father Jeff.

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  100. anon 11:43

    If you do not believe that you should submit to the authority of the Church, then you are not Catholic. It is a specific requirement of our religion.

    CCC 1269 Having become a member of the Church, the person baptized belongs no longer to himself, but to him who died and rose for us. From now on, he is called to be subject to others, to serve them in the communion of the Church, and to "obey and submit" to the Church's leaders, holding them in respect and affection. Just as Baptism is the source of responsibilities and duties, the baptized person also enjoys rights within the Church: to receive the sacraments, to be nourished with the Word of God and to be sustained by the other spiritual helps of the Church.

    You may call yourself Catholic. You may believe in some of the Church teachings, but unless you are willing to “obey and submit.”

    This modern secular society has made us so arrogant that we think we are smarter that Jesus who gave us this Church and the rules and laws that go with. This is Jesus' one true Church, I wouldn't be so quick to offend her, you will have more to worry about than lawyers...

    Brandon Amason

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  101. anonymous 12:09...sorry for your experience. I'm glad you are going to come back!!

    anonymous 11:43 - people don't understand your comment because you yourself went off in many "tangents" and ended up contradicting yourself.

    Moreover, who is making threats? ME?!? I merely said what I MYSELF would do if I were an unfairly and PUBLICLY maligned priest. Even priests have individual, civil rights...hard as that may be for some to believe. But that was ME saying what I would do if such outrageous charges were laid against my good name. How is it a threat if the one who was defamed didn't make it???? Even if he DID, it's still not a threat....it's a constitutional right. Oi!!

    Fr Mark is an excellent priest and a good man. The only ones who can't stand him are big fans of the former pastor who sorely miss Fr Jeff or who are opposed to Fr Mark's orthodox preaching.

    connect the dots, Anonymous....the outlandish accusations made on here against Fr Mark are tit for tat by folks who are mad that Fr Jeff has so many vocal critics. (some of whom have been out of line themselves on here with their comments)

    - Taynia Rasberry

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  102. anon 12:09

    I can relate to your words perfectly! Most will not understand what you are talking about....Glad you are returning to mass!

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  103. Brandon Amason,

    I don't worry about lawyers or threats from the Church. I never worried about lawyers and I stopped worrying about fear mongering from the Church years ago.

    What I do worry about is a hierarchy (and mindset) that has all too frequently chosen to ignore basic teachings of Christ that even the least catechized Kindergartner understands.

    Would you suggest that a Catholic in Boston should have deferred to the authority of Cardinal Law? Or, does a parishioner led by a pedophile priest have an obligation to honor that man's leadership? Can people disagree with the Church and still remain authentically Catholic?

    God gave us minds, hearts, and souls. I chose to use all three in determining where He is leading me.

    And I'm very happy to be a part of the Catholic Church. Or, are you going to decide that I do not belong?

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  104. Anon 12:53
    If you want to discuss pedophilia, feel free to drop me an email (brandonamason@gmail.com) and I will discuss that topic with you. I do not hold it against the Church, and I would be more than happy to explain why. But right now on this forum I don't think it makes sense to bring it up.

    You asked if I think that a Boston parishioner should submit to the authority of a pedophile priest. Of course this is not a real question. Obviously the Cardinal was working outside of his authority.

    Jesus gave the authority to the Church, I trust his judgment. Obviously there have been corrupt individuals in the Church throughout history, but Jesus has protected his Church. Jesus would not and has not allowed any corruption of the Catholic doctrine.

    You ask if people can disagree with the Church and be authentically Catholic. That is kind of a broad question. If your priest thinks the packers are better than the bears and you disagree, sure you can still be Catholic. But if you disagree with the Church's stance on abortion, or something the Church has made a definitive statement about, no you are not Catholic.

    I will not decide that you do not belong … Even if you do not follow the teachings of the Church, and even if you aren't “authentically” Catholic, you should still come to mass every Sunday. You Should still participate in the Church and give Jesus the opportunity to move you closer to understanding. You should not however receive the Blessed Sacrament unless and until you can come to accept the Church...

    Brandon Amason

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  105. Whoa, all you righteous Fr. Jeff rationalizers. He RESIGNED - he wasn't fired by Fr. Jeff "haters." He is accused of committing a crime. Read up on the 7th Commandment. He spoke out against the treatment of the pedophile priests, but not against the priests who violated their vows of celebacy (not surprisingly). He is certainly not the "Saint" his defenders are portraying him as here in this discussion. He's not the first priest to be a power-broker and an "income supplimenter." It will be interesting to see how the Archdiocese leadership and parish leadership handle this. Other far more petty thefts have been handled very aggressively when they involved ordained clergy in the past. However, Weakland's $450,000 hush money was swept under the proverbial carpet, and he still functions as a bishop. Nobody involved in that misuse of funds received any kind of punishment. So, stay tuned...

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  106. I think you miss not only Brandon's point but the catechism section he quoted, Anonymous. We are called to obey and submit in all things LAWFUL.

    If someone is asking you to partake in an unlawful or sinful thing your "submission", clearly, is not required. But your decency is. There is a way of handling things. As I said before, if any of you have PROOF of what you charge not only Fr Mark with but Fr Jeff as well, take it to their superiors or their fellow priests. Running your "anonymous" mouths off in a VERY public forum is not only unfortunate for them but demeaning and sinful for you. If you know a priest has done something not only sinful but CRIMINAL, tell not only his superiors...tell the cops too!!

    really! does this need to be spelled out???

    and as far as this quote from you:
    "What I do worry about is a hierarchy (and mindset) that has all too frequently chosen to ignore basic teachings of Christ that even the least catechized Kindergartner understands".....I'm curious as the dickens which "basic teachings" of Christ you're talking about that the Church's "hierarchy" and "mindset" has ignored.

    would you please care to elaborate? or is this just another case of individuals' sins being used as an excuse to bash the whole church at large?

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  107. and for clarity's sake that was meant for Anon 12:53

    -taynia rasberry

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  108. Ron Larson from St.Lucy's8/20/2009 2:54 PM

    Why don't all of your people grow up and shut up.

    Why not go to church and pray for whoever the sinner or sinners are.

    I am sure you can include yourself in the prayers.

    Jesus will hear you as he is hearing what is going on right now.

    Oh!! Please pray for me too.

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  109. Ron - I bought the soap on a rope for Jeff's going away party.

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  110. I am not using my full name for fear all you lynchers would come for my blood as you have Fr Jeff's. What happened to inocent until proven guilty. Even better, the one without sin cast the first stone. The accusations in some of these comments make me sick. The majority of these entries have no merit and are simply rumors. Let's let the law take it's course and let the man have some peace. I wonder how many of you will comments today sent Fr. Jeff well wishes when he was battling cancer? How much of the money in question was mismanaged while he was out recouperating.

    Please don't come and get me cause I am using my first name

    Ed

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  111. Ed - no one is coming for you. :)

    People here are angry about the "anonymous" folks making all sorts of accusations not only about Fr Jeff but all the other priests as well. It's out of control.

    I agree that we should let the civil authorities and his Church superiors handle this and sort out guilt or innocence --- REGARDLESS of how anyone feels about him personally. (...you gotta admit though - he has a LOT of people who feel he screwed over them in some fashion and can't really be called "fans") Doesn't matter - if they want to tell how he hurt them they are entitled but what makes no sense is the serious rumors and malicious charges laid against him and others that not only have no proof but that have NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CRIMES BEING INVESTIGATED. If he had a girlfriend and all the rest of what's being said, what the hell is it to anyone here? Let him sort it out with his bishop for crying out loud! Who are you to expose someone else's sins people?

    oi!!

    And I say this as someone who is decidedly NOT a fan and never has been.

    I don't like the guy but it is a sick thing indeed to rejoice over someone's shame like this. A sad day in general for the Church when her own children jump and and down like vipers over their own brother's fall. Let the facts be sorted and the truth come out. If the courts screw up in carrying out justice, God won't.

    Stop fretting about sinners getting what's coming to them. They will. And so will we all.....

    -Taynia Rasberry

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  112. Amazing. The power some people have over others. Listen, Ron and Ed: Fr. Jeff resigned, along with three other women involved in this sordid situation. If he were as innocent as you say he is, he would have stayed on and fought it out with the Church and the legal system. My point is: it will be interesting how one of them (the Church) handles it with regards to the other party (the legal system.) You both need to take off your rose-colored glasses and look at the situation as it is. None of these bloggers claim to be sinless, including me. But the TRUST placed in Fr. Jeff, the Trustees (even the name implies that the parishioners could trust them) and the business manager was violated. Dramatically. Not in a petty way. Like anybody, you both are displeased that someone you put up on a pedastol has been knocked off it. Denying it doesn't put him or them back on it. What I am most curious to see is how the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and Immaculate Conception Parish (their legal name, by the way)handle this legal and ecclesiastically.

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  113. Mr We Don"t know who you are.

    I never said Jeff was innocent or that I backed him. That would be far from true as I never trusted him and was happy to see him leave.

    I just think it is time to stop all the blogging and let the powers that be take care of the matter.

    He will get his dues as he should and so will the 3 women if there is true justice.

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  114. Ron you said "He will get his dues." You are correct, when Bubba gets a hold of him in prison.

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  115. It is ridiculous that people are bringing Father Mark into this. He is *the* and I repeat over and over *THE* ONLY priest in Racine who is orthodox in his teachings. He is *THE* only priest in Racine who follows Church teaching and stands by it. Has this pissed people off? Yes. Too bad. He has his priorities straight, the others don't - all the others yammering on about Obama this and abortion is OK that.

    Those who accuse Father Mark of mis-spending festival funds are off their rockers. He got the tabernacle re-plated. Yeah, it cost alot. He got the TABERNACLE re-plated in gold - the holy vessel that holds the very body and blood of Christ, the source and summit of our faith!!!! That was wrong? Oh, and he bought some new altar server robes. Whoop-de-doo!

    I know how much Father Mark makes. The "working stiffs" above make way, way less money at whatever they are doing, trust me. They couldn't make it on his salary. The only "luxury" Father Mark has is a car - one that actually works so that he can visit parishioners in the hospital and come bless their homes - all things he DOES.

    Father Mark SUFFERED so horribly at the hands of the Father Thielen supporters when he came to St. Lucy's. There was definitely a cult of worship/personality for Father Thielen when he came. People made it hell for Father Mark - he wanted to bring worship back to what it was supposed to be. He made changes to liturgical abuses that Father Mark Thielen had allowed. Ooooo - what a monster for doing so!

    Oh - and I must be one of Father Mark's girlfriends. I mean that by virtue of the fact that I've had lunch with him, in public, in a restaurant, in a well-known location where EVERYONE in the parish knows he eats almost EVERY DAY. Me and a dozen or so other parishioners. If that makes us girlfriends, well, then so be it. Except I don't feel like a girlfriend, since I'm happily married and Father Mark has never illicitly asked me to his non-condo or on any of his non-vacations.

    Portal above is totally correct. Stop the rumor-mongering and keep the discussion to Father Thielen and what he's actually been accused of.

    Oh - Mike Kroes is a real person. I know what parish he goes to, and what mass he sings in the choir at. You can't even sign your own name here without people still thinking you're a fake.

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  116. Ooops - I meant that the "working stiffs" make way MORE than Father Mark.

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  117. It always amazes me how some of the priests and Dominican nuns can be such Obama supporters when one of the biggest issues in the U.S. and within the Catholic church is the position on abortion. Abortions are against the churches teachings and the pope, but you'll see letters to the editor from both groups of people mentioned supporting Obama and his position. on this issue. they support him and voted for him. What is wrong with this picture. Are these people above the Catholic church's teachings?

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  118. Oops - also meant "liturgical abuses that Father THIELEN allowed."

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  119. Anon 8:46 I wonder who you are, I agree with you 100% and I am glad that you posted in defense of Fr Mark. He is a great person, and probably the best thing to happen to Catholosism in Racine for decades.

    Anon 9:08 I agree with you too. We can only hope that the Vaticans current investigation into American nuns helps to curve the liberal reletivism that is plagueing some of the religious orders.

    Portal, You know I agree with you too.

    Brandon Amason

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  120. Shall we now switch these ridiculous posts to Health Care Reform, the high price of gasoline, and the end of the world as we know it?

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  121. Yeahhhh ... I'll say one thing - this thread (Other than a select few - Portal and Brandon and others - do make Catholics look bad. This is why your religion is judged "unfairly." Kinda like Muslims who happen to be terrorists.

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  122. ANONYMOUS 8:46

    GOD BLESS YOU! hahahaha! that was the funniest and truest thing I've read so far.

    oi!! I guess I've been seen eating with him too. Oh no! the scandal of it all! hahaha!

    However...errr...I don't think I'm a girlfriend either. At all. haha! Yeah. Definitely no illicit "non-condo and non-vacations" going on! LOL

    you are hysterical! thanks for showing how people get their panties in a twist over stuff that shouldn't matter but blithely ignore things that should. They see someone out in a PUBLIC (and may I add from a feminine P.O.V., decidedly NON romantic dining hole) eating with women and suddenly there's something to it. BAH!!!

    it's sad! those who see the "sins" of others in little nothing moments tend to be projecting their own guilt or desires. (IMHO of course, LOL)

    anyhow - I only wish you'd have signed your name so I could buy you a beer! LOL


    -Taynia Rasberry

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  123. you are right on that one Cilla!

    -TR

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  124. Portal - YAY! We agree on something. I'm not well versed in this whole ... argument. I don't know the story that well, I am not a Catholic, and I don't know how things are supposed to be run - but isn't there supposed to (even in the Catholic faith) be due process? And isn't it wrong to generalize based on one person? Just making sure.

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  125. Hmmm. Interesting comments...and relationships.

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  126. Will he be able to say mass in prison for Bubba and Bubba's pals?

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  127. I AGREE FR. MARK IS THE BEST AND WE AT ST. LUCY ARE LUCKY. FR. DOES NOT CARE IF YOU ARE RICH OR POOR CONTRBUITE WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD.PEROID END OF STORY.

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  128. Humans proving they're human. No defense- just a statement. It isn't the Church that is wrong, it's the people who are.

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  129. Fr. Jeff and I were classmates at St. Francis Seminary for eight years until I left in 1970. We were best friends in high school, and I rode my bike from Four Mile Road to his home in West Racine almost every day during summers. I moved to California and last saw him in the late 1970's, three or four years after he was ordained. It hurts to see such terrible things said about a man who was once my best friend.

    I heard from a classmate that Jeff had some trouble in Burlington and had to resign. I read what was printed in the newspapers, and the speculation I've seen here online. It looks to me like the facts of the matter aren't known yet, but that there were some financial discrepancies. Jeff was a dreamer and an idealist, never one to be very concerned about details; but he was always a good guy with the best of intentions. He loved God, and he loved the Church. He wasn't always right, but he was a good man.

    Before you judge my friend too harshly, wait until the facts are known - and then use your Christian charity to try to understand why whatever happened, happened.

    God bless you all; and God bless my friend Jeff, especially now in these times that are going to be agonizing for him.

    -Joe Offer-

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  130. Joe - send Jeff some soap on a rope. He's going to need it.

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  131. Bad things happen when certain people are put on a pedestal of being closer to God in a hierarchical fashion. I guess that is why I am one of the many non-Catholic denomination Christians....

    I see this as a sad thing all the way around.

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  132. PR=PR... With all due respect for your denominational choice, putting people on a pedestal isn't just a Catholic thing. There are many more humble and holy Catholics than there are pompous and self-important ones.

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  133. PR=PR....I agree that bad things happen when you put people on a pedestal. No mere man can live up to one's idealized notions. Whether they are a priest, a televangelist, or a store front non-denominational minister. All are sinners.

    But you have got the hierarchy of the church completely wrong if you think that it means some are "closer to God" than others. That simply isn't how it is....that's not what it's about!!

    and this is sad - all the way around. Sad for the Catholic Church and sad for all Christianity. Our poor witness precedes us and negates any of our preaching....

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  134. Can you still buy soap on a rope?

    Hopefully, the truth about all of this will come out in a court of law. There's lots of rumors and accusations. We all want to know the truth, one way or the other so we can move on and prevent anything like this from happening again. God look with mercy on us all and guide us to find the truth and learn from it.

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  135. 5:59 - here you go.

    Verbena Soap on a Rope
    This genuine rope soap, delightfully scented with verbena, will recall happy childhood memories and transform shower time into a moment of pleasure. Hygienic, user friendly and fun, it conveniently hangs in the shower to dry - no soap-dish mess to clean up.

    Jeff can share it with Bubba.

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  136. Well, I'd be surprised if Jeff Thielen would put himself above other people. I do think that in this day and age, we expect our priests to adhere to our own particular flavor of Catholicism, and we condemn them if they don't think exactly the way we do. Another aspect of this day and age is that we have so many "armchair apologists" who think they know a priest's job better than a priest himself. Jeff went through twelve years of very rigorous training, and I saw him every day for eight of those twelve years. And he was ordained in 1974 and has served God and the Church faithfully all these years.

    Jeff had flaws (and some of those were really annoying and disappointing), but he wasn't afraid to acknowledge those flaws. He was (and is) a real human being. And he was (and is) my friend.

    May God help Jeff through this time of trial and make him a better priest. And may God's people learn to accept him as both a priest and an imperfect human being who needs compassion and understanding.

    -Joe Offer-

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  137. Joe - you missed one of his flaws -he is a thief. Bubba is waiting for him.

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  138. More likely, he gave the money away to people who needed it, and didn't get around to doing the paperwork to account for it. Jeff Thielen had a big heart, and people often took advantage of that. But no, he would never be a thief. He had too strong a sense of honor for that.

    He tended to say things in undiplomatic ways and I'm sure that offended some people, but he was not the kind of person who would intentionally do anyone harm.

    -Joe Offer-

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  140. Anon 8:10,"Innocent untill proven guilty", so unless you saw Fr. Jeff stealing, who are you to cast the "thief" stone or to pass judgement on another? I'd like to meet some like you, who is without sin, the closest I got to someone saintlike was my dear mom,
    although you don't sound nearly as kindhearted. Maybe you better keep
    the soap for yourself, your halo may need a little shine!

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  141. 11:38 - Thanks for noticing, I am holier than thou. You won't find me stealing from my parish, so I won't need the soap on a rope - send it to Jeff to share with Bubba.

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  142. anonymous 9:51

    while most of us have tried to ignore your repulsive comments, I have to say at this point that I'm getting the impression you have a demon, sir. No. I'm not kidding. I shall pray for your deliverance and invite any one who cares to to join me in this as well.

    Taynia Rasberry

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  143. Taynia - repusive, I'm giving some good advice. You don't want to drop your soap in the shower - therefore the soap on a rope is a great going away gift. Unless of course, Jeff swings that way, but with his past girlfriends I don't think he does.

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  146. I was a student at St Lucys in the early ninties. This priest was not to be trusted then. A friend and I caught him in a very compromising position with a married female parish member back then. Although I believe that priests should be aloud to marry, but thats a whole different topic.

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