Indonesia bishop resigns in finance, mistress scandal

Indonesia bishop resigns in finance, mistress scandal

By Associated Press

VATICAN CITY — A Roman Catholic bishop in Indonesia has resigned following reports that he had a mistress and siphoned off more than $100,000 in church funds.

Pope Francis on Wednesday accepted the resignation of Bishop Hubertus Leteng of Indonesia’s Ruteng diocese. The Denpasar bishop, Monsignor Sylvester San, will run the diocese until a permanent replacement is found, the Vatican said.

Local Indonesian media and the Ucanews agency, which covers the Catholic Church in Asia, reported that dozens of priests resigned en masse in June to protest Leteng’s administration.

The Vatican sent an investigator to look into their allegations that Leteng had a mistress and secretly borrowed $94,000 from the Indonesian bishops’ conference and another $30,000 from the diocese without accounting for it.

According to Ucanews, Leteng said the money was used to finance the education of a poor youth, though he declined to provide details. He called allegations he had a relationship with a woman “slanderous.”

The Vatican didn’t address the scandal or explain why Leteng was retiring early. The Ruteng diocese made no mention of the allegations in its announcement of Leteng’s departure Wednesday. Bishops normally submit their resignations when they reach age 75. Leteng is 58.

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