Father Louis C. Bier, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Springfield, Delaware County, has been placed on administrative leave by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, according to a statement by the archdiocesan Office for Communications March 12.
The action came in response to concerns regarding Father Bier’s current suitability for ministry. The concerns are not connected to any complaint of inappropriate behavior with minors, the statement said. An announcement regarding this situation was made at all Masses at St. Francis Parish this weekend.
While on leave, Father Bier may not exercise his public ministry, administer any of the sacraments, wear clerical garb, or present himself publicly as a priest. He has not been living at the parish since prior to this weekend.
A parochial administrator will be appointed by Archbishop Chaput soon.
A private meeting for parishioners will be held at St. Francis Church March 13. It will be an opportunity for prayer, clarity and open discussion about how the parish will move forward, according to the statement.
There are a variety of reasons why a priest could be found unsuitable for ministry. As Father Bier’s situation is currently under thorough examination, and no determination has yet been reached, no further information is available at this time, the statement said.