13 December 2017
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  • » 10/12/2017, 11.27

    INDONESIA - VATICAN

    Bishop of Ruteng resigns over illicit affair and financial scandals

    Mathias Hariyadi

    Bishop Sylvester Tung Kiem San is the new apostolic administrator of the diocese. In June, dozens of priests had resigned from their positions in protest. The former bishop under a Vatican  investigation since last August.

    Ruteng (AsiaNews) - Bishop Hubertus Leteng resigned from office as bishop of Ruteng, Flores Island (East Nusa Tenggara), following the pressure of local faithful and clergy following allegations financial corruption.

    The announcement was made public last night, along with the Vatican decision to appoint a new apostolic administrator for the diocese. Shortly thereafter, a closed-door meeting was concluded, attended by the former bishop, his successor, Msgr. Sylvester Tung Kiem St. Denpasar (Bali), secretary of the Vatican Embassy Fr. Fabio Salerno and Fr. Siprianus Horma, executive secretary of the Indonesian Bishops' Conference (Kwi). There were also several priests and representatives of the diocesan curia and the presbyteral council.

    In August, the Holy See appointed General Secretary Kwi Msgr. Antonius Benjamin Subianto to conduct an investigation into the alleged immoral behaviour of the former bishop. The scandal broke out a month earlier, when local Catholics came to know about the secret love affair of Msgr. Leteng with a woman from Denspasar (Bali). Defined as a "adoptive daughter," the woman used to receive the frequent visits of her lover, from whom she is believed to have attempted to extort money with the threat of revealing their unlawful attachment.

    Dozens of priests and some prominent lay faithful of Ruteng have issued two motions of mistrust against the former bishop, pushing the Vatican nunciature in Jakarta to address the issue to save the dignity of the priesthood and defend the moral he has offended. On June 15, dozens of "dissident" priests announced their resignation as "officials" of the diocese after securing the continuity of their pastoral work as "ordinary" priests. On June 20, they appealed to the Vatican nuncio to resolve this situation of "pastoral stalemate" with their bishop.

    Contacted by AsiaNews, Msgr. Leteng did not want to make any statements.

    Ruteng is the most "prosperous and dynamic" diocese of Flores, the "Catholic island" of Indonesia, and oversees the three major regents, from where many vocations and hundreds of priests and nuns come. For seven years, Bishop Leteng was head of the diocese, which has over 875,000 faithful, about 90% of the local population, and 81 parishes, served by 237 priests and 421 religious.

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    See also

    28/08/2006 PHILIPPINES
    Filipino bishop accepts to join panel on political murders

    The Butuan City Bishop, Mgr Juan de Dios Pueblos, has accepted a government proposal to sit on the newly set up commission of inquiry into "extra-judicial" murders despite warnings from the bishop's conference that has asked its members to take an independent stand in politics.



    07/08/2010 CHINA-VATICAN
    Bishop An Shuxin, former underground bishop installed as ordinary of Baoding
    There is already an Ordinary (underground) of the diocese: Mgr. James Su, Zhimin, 13 years in prison. The decision to hold the ceremony made quickly by the government, who wanted Mgr. Ma Yinglin, an illegitimate bishop, to preside. Few participants: 24 priests and 300 faithful. The diocese has 120 priests and over 50 thousand faithful. Card. Bertone’s call to unity.

    19/02/2014 VIETNAM
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    06/07/2015 INDONESIA
    Purwokerto: over 700 young people at diocesan youth day
    Boys and girls from 24 parishes take part. Pdyd director Fr. Prasetyo describes it as a "great opportunity" to "motivate" the young people to be "agents of love and compassion." A solemn Mass celebrated by the bishop closed the four days. The next edition scheduled in 2018.

    21/02/2013 INDONESIA - VATICAN
    Conclave, Cardinal Darmaatmadja renounces for "health reasons"
    The 78 year-old Archbishop Emeritus of Jakarta will not be present due to serious problems with his “eyesight”. He confirms to AsiaNews the "progressive deterioration" of his vision and his needing assistance to read texts and documents. The cardinal close in spirit and in prayer to Pope Benedict XVI, whose decision he understands "perfectly".



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