An Indonesian bishop, who has been accused by dozens of priests in the Diocese of Ruteng of having a mistress and misusing over $120,000 in church funds, has resigned from his post.
Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Hubertus Leteng on Wednesday, BBC News reported, though the under fire senior church member did not provide a reason for his exit.
The Vatican has been investigating claims that he borrowed $94,000 from the Indonesian bishops’ conference, along with reports that he took another $30,000 from his diocese without accounting for either sum of money.
According to Ucanews, at least 69 of 167 diocesan priests quit their posts in June in the midst of the scandal, though clergy who remained loyal to Leteng urged members to continue supporting him.
Father Robert Pelita, episcopal vicar of Labuan Bajo, was one of the many to accuse the bishop of financial irregularities.
“Bishop Leteng admitted at a meeting that he took the diocese’s money,” Pelita said at the time.
The priests who resigned have accused the bishop of using part of the money on a woman, who they suspect he is having an affair with. The allegations stem back from 2014, when one departing priest shared such observations.
Leteng has in the past denied the accusations and, according to The Catholic Herald, told priests in a meeting that he was using the borrowed money to finance the education of youth from a poor family in the United Sates.
He has not provided further details, however, and reportedly told priests who asked for more information that it was “none of their business.”
Leteng was ordained a priest of the Ruteng Diocese in 1988, and consecrated a bishop on April 14, 2010. Christian Post