Bishop-Elect Resigns After Being Accused of Sexually Abusing a Minor

New York Times

September 7, 2020

By Neil Vigdor

Father Michel J. Mulloy was chosen by Pope Francis to lead the Diocese of Duluth, Minn., but then an allegation from the 1980s surfaced, church officials said.

Pope Francis on Monday accepted the resignation of a priest whom he had chosen to become the bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese in Duluth, Minn., after a nearly 40-year-old allegation of sexual abuse of a minor emerged against the clergyman, church officials said.

The priest, Father Michel J. Mulloy, 67, had been scheduled to be installed on Oct. 1 as the bishop of the diocese, which estimated that it serves about 56,000 Catholics at 92 parishes in northeastern Minnesota.

But a little more than two weeks after his June 19 appointment by the pope, the Diocese of Rapid City in South Dakota, where Father Mulloy had been serving as diocesan administrator, was alerted about a sexual abuse allegation against him from the 1980s, church officials said.

The bishop-elect’s resignation came after the Vatican in July told bishops around the world to report cases of clerical sex abuse to the civil authorities, part of an ongoing and contentious effort by Francis to confront a blight on the Catholic Church.

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