By Jim Fair
The Holy Father has accepted the resignation of the bishop-elect of Duluth, United States of America, the Reverend Michel Mulloy. This comes in the wake of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by Fr. Malloy.
Father Michel Mulloy, is a priest of the Diocese of Rapid City. The Diocese of Duluth has been a vacant see since December 2019.
“Subsequent to that appointment, on August 7, 2020, the Diocese of Rapid City received notification of an allegation against Father Mulloy of sexual abuse of a minor in the early 1980’s,” according to a statement September 7 by the Diocese of Rapid City. “The Diocese of Rapid City has no other allegations of sexual abuse involving Father Mulloy.’
Following the established procedure, Bishop Peter Muhich, Bishop of Rapid City, informed law enforcement of this development, the statement said. Fr. Mulloy was directed to refrain from engaging in ministry. The Diocese then commissioned an independent investigation to determine whether the allegation warranted further investigation under Canon Law. When that investigation concluded, the results were shared with the Rapid City Diocesan Review Board, a lay-majority interdisciplinary body, in accordance with the standard of Canon Law and the policies of the Diocese of Rapid City. The Review Board agreed with the investigation’s conclusion that the accusation met the standard of Canon Law for further investigation and conclusion and the Holy See was informed by Bishop Muhich. Fr. Mulloy received a summary of the specific allegation against him and submitted his resignation as Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Duluth to the Holy Father, which has been accepted.
The Apostolic Nunciature has communicated that Msgr. James Bissonnette will continue to serve the Diocese of Duluth as Diocesan Administrator until the appointment of a new Bishop.
Fr. Bissonette issued the following statement:
I have learned that our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has accepted the resignation of Bishop-elect Michel Mulloy. Sadly, that notification was accompanied by an announcement from the Diocese of Rapid City of an accusation of sexual abuse of a minor made against Father Mulloy as a priest of that diocese. We grieve with all who have suffered sexual abuse and their loved ones. I ask you to pray for the person who has come forward with this accusation, for Father Mulloy, for the faithful of our diocese, and for all affected. We place our hope and trust in God’s providence as we await, again, the appointment of our next bishop.
Father Mulloy was to be ordained and installed as Bishop of Duluth on Oct. 1. Father Bissonette will continue to serve as diocesan administrator until the Holy Father appoints a new bishop for the diocese.
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