Jakarta. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Hubertus Leteng of Indonesia’s Ruteng diocese in East Nusa Tenggara, following reports that he had siphoned off more than $100,000 in church funds, a church official said on Thursday (12/10).
The resignation was accepted on Wednesday, secretary to the Ruteng diocese, Father Agustinus Manfred, said.
According to Father Manfred, Monsignor Sylvester San – the Denpasar bishop – will run the diocese until a permanent replacement for the outgoing bishop is found.
UCAnews agency reported in August that the Vatican sent an investigator to look into allegations of funds misappropriation linked to Bishop Leteng. The investigator submitted a detailed report to the Vatican in early September.
"There was an issue with more than $100,000 in church funds having been used for unclear purposes," Father Manfred told the Jakarta Globe in a phone interview.
He added that the Ruteng diocese will undergo a financial audit in the near future.
More than 60 priests were reported to have resigned earlier in June in protest at Leteng's conduct. They demanded a complete investigation into how the Ruteng diocese was run under Leteng’s leadership.
Neither the Vatican nor Leteng – who is 58 – offered an explanation on his early retirement. Bishops usually retire at the age of 75.