Pope sacks bishop of Memphis over 'management issues' but insists it is unrelated to sex abuse scandals

  • Pope Francis removed Bishop Martin Holley of Memphis on Wednesday
  • Vatican says the firing was over Holley's management and unrelated to abuse
  • Holley had reportedly transferred 75 per cent of the diocese's priests 

    Pope Francis has removed from office Bishop Martin Holley of Memphis, Tennessee, the Vatican said on Wednesday.

    A Vatican spokesman said the decision had been taken over 'an issue of management and had nothing to do with sexual abuse'.

    The Vatican's statement was unusually tough, saying the 63-year-old had been 'relieved of the governance' of the diocese. 

    The widely-read National Catholic Reporter newspaper said Holley had been the subject of a Vatican investigation in June following complaints among priests about his leadership.

    The newspaper said Holley had transferred about 75 percent of the diocese's priests shortly after his appointment in 2016.

    One of Holley's deputies resigned suddenly in June. 

    Holley was not immediately available for comment and The Catholic Diocese of Memphis in Tennessee did not respond to a request for comment early on Wednesday.

    The Vatican said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville had been appointed to administer the diocese until further notice.

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