Bishop-elect for Diocese of Duluth, MN Resigns Following Accusations of Abuse

A priest who was tapped this summer to lead a diocese in Minnesota has withdrawn from the position after being accused of abusing a child in the 1980s. This sad situation is a reminder of just how high alleged abusers can climb in the church and speaks to a critical need for a shift in how we respond to allegations of child sexual abuse.

Father Michel J. Mulloy, a priest from the Diocese of Rapid City, South Dakota, had been chosen by Pope Francis to lead the Diocese of Duluth, MN in June. Yet in August, church officials in Rapid City received an allegation that Fr. Mulloy had sexually abused a child in 1980s, a claim that the diocesan review board believed merited a full investigation. We agree with their assessment and hope that outside, secular law enforcement professionals launch an investigation of their own.

It is disturbing that a diocese like Duluth which experienced its own share of clergy abuse cover-ups by Bishop Paul Sirba would have been led by a prelate who himself has been accused of abuse. We hope that parishioners in Duluth are outraged by this news and will demand that their church officials improve their screening and elevation processes to ensure that no other diocese is led by an alleged child abuser.

More than 1/3 of all American prelates have been accused of mishandling cases of child sexual abuse and at least 26 have been named as abusers themselves. Stories like this make that stat a little clearer and speaks to the clear need for parents to carefully weigh how their children will participate in their local church, for parishioners to watch their new prelate closely, and for the public to demand change in the church so that this ongoing crisis can eventually end.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (517-974-9009, zhiner@snapnetwork.org)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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