Diocese of Duluth, MN to Get New Bishop

A Minnesota Catholic diocese is getting a new bishop soon and we call on him to make the protection of children and prevention of abuse his number one priority once he takes the job in Duluth.

Father Michel J. Mulloy, a priest from the Diocese of Rapid City, South Dakota, has been chosen by Pope Francis to lead the Diocese of Duluth, Minnesota. The diocese has a checkered history with the issue of clergy abuse and we hope that Bishop-elect Mulloy will immediately take steps to improve transparency and prevention efforts in his new assignment.

The previous bishop of Duluth, Paul Sirba, was accused of covering-up the crimes committed by Fr. Curtis Wehmayer and also of hiding allegations against a different priest, Fr. Cornelius Keleher, for more than a year. Bishop Sirba previously worked under Archbishop John Nienstedt in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The archbishop was not only accused of covering up abuse in the archdiocese but was also accused of abuse.

It is clear that Bishop-elect Mulloy has his work cut out for him as he works to bring the Diocese of Duluth out of an era of silence and cover-up and into a new one of accountability for abusers and enablers and support for those who were harmed by clergy in Duluth.

The bishop-elect can start to show how differently he would handle these kinds of crimes by immediately turning over all files related to abuse to the Minnesota attorney general and personally requesting an independent and secular investigation of his diocese. This is but one step that Bishop-elect Mulloy can and should take, and we hope he makes it a priority when he officially becomes the leader of Duluth later this year.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP 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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