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Indonesian bishop accused of having mistress resigns

October 12, 2017

Indonesian bishop Hubertus Leteng was accused of having a mistress and siphoning off more than €100,000 in church funds. Leteng has denied the allegations.

Screenshot Twitter Indonesien Bischof Hubertus Leteng tritt nach Skandal zurück
Image: Twitter/floresadotco

Pope Francis on Wednesday accepted the resignation of Bishop Hubertus Leteng of Indonesia's Ruteng diocese, after the Vatican dispatched an investigator to look into allegations that he had had a mistress and skimmed over €100,000 ($118,000) from church funds.

The probe was triggered after dozens of priests resigned en masse to protest Leteng's conduct.

The 58-year-old Leteng has denied the allegations, but did not offer any explanation about his premature retirement, almost 17 years before the usual retirement age for a bishop.

The Vatican also did not address the scandal or clarify why Leteng was retiring early. It named Sylvester San, the Bali-based Bishop of Denpasar, as a temporary replacement.

Leteng said the money was used to finance the education of poor youth, AP news agency reported, citing Ucanews, which reports on the Catholic Church in Asia. He termed allegations that he had a relationship with a woman "slanderous."

Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country, is home to some 45 bishops and 4,900 Catholic priests, according to 2015 Vatican data.

ap/bk (AFP, AP)