Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the Bishop-elect of Duluth, Minnesota, Michel J. Mulloy, after an accusation that he abused a minor in the 1980s surfaced in early August.
Mulloy, 66, was appointed to lead the Minnesota diocese on June 19, and his consecration and installation as bishop were scheduled to take place Oct. 1.
According to a statement from the Diocese of Rapid City, where Mulloy had been administrator since August 2019, the diocese on Aug. 7 “received notification of an allegation against Father Mulloy of sexual abuse of a minor in the early 1980s.”
The diocese said it “has no other allegations of sexual abuse involving Father Mulloy.”
Press releases from the Vatican and from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops did not state a reason for the bishop-elect’s resignation.
The Rapid City diocese said it is “following the established procedure” and informed law enforcement about the allegation. Mulloy was also directed to refrain from engaging in ministry.
The diocese commissioned an independent investigation into the allegation, which a review board then agreed merited a full investigation according to canon law. The diocese informed the Holy See about the development.
Mulloy received a summary of the allegation against him and subsequently submitted his resignation as the bishop-elect of Duluth.
Mulloy had been vicar general and vicar for clergy in the Diocese of Rapid City since 2017.
His appointment as bishop of Duluth almost three months ago followed the unexpected death of Bishop Paul Sirba on Dec. 1, 2019, at the age of 59.
With the resignation of Mulloy as bishop-elect, Msgr. James Bissonnette will continue to administer the Diocese of Duluth until the appointment of a new bishop.
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