Friday, 13 October 2017

Indonesia Bishop Resigns in Finance, Mistress Scandal
·         Associated Press

Pope Francis gives the thumbs up as he leaves at the end of his weekly general audience, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Oct. 11, 2017. Pope Francis on Wednesday accepted the resignation of Bishop Hubertus Leteng of Indonesia's Ruteng diocese.

A Roman Catholic bishop in Indonesia has resigned following reports that he had a mistress and siphoned off more than $100,000 in church funds.
Pope Francis on Wednesday accepted the resignation of Bishop Hubertus Leteng of Indonesia's Ruteng diocese. The Denpasar bishop, Monsignor Sylvester San, will run the diocese until a permanent replacement is found, the Vatican said.
Local Indonesian media and the Ucanews agency, which covers the Catholic Church in Asia, reported that dozens of priests resigned en masse in June to protest Letang's administration.
The Vatican sent an investigator to look into their allegations that Letang had a mistress and secretly borrowed $94,000 from the Indonesian bishops' conference and another $30,000 from the diocese without accounting for it.
According to Ucanews, Letang said the money was used to finance the education of a poor youth, though he declined to provide details. He called allegations he had a relationship with a woman ``slanderous.''
The Vatican didn't address the scandal or explain why Letang was retiring early. The Ruteng diocese made no mention of the allegations in its announcement of Letang's departure Wednesday. Bishops normally submit their resignations when they reach age 75. Leteng is 58.
Catholics represent a minority in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country. The nation nevertheless is home to some 45 bishops and 4,900 Catholic priests, according to 2015 Vatican statistics.
Letang's resignation is the latest in a handful of cases of the Vatican persuading — or in some cases strong-arming — bishops accused of wrongdoing to step down. Often the cases go unnoticed, particularly when they involve in-house financial mismanagement because the Vatican never explains why bishops are leaving their posts.

Sometimes the scandals are well known. In the United States, two bishops accused of botching clerical sexual abuse cases resigned under Vatican pressure in 2015. More recently, Guam's archbishop was forced to step aside after he was put on trial in the Vatican for allegedly sexually abusing young boys. A decision, in that case, is expected soon.


Every day now we hear stories of a Catholic bishop somewhere getting into trouble and Francis accepting their resignations.

That's how Rome handles it. Instead of sacking a bishop they say HE OFFERED HIS RESIGNATION.

In other words, they are allowed to jump instead of being pushed.

Many of the scandals are multiple - a sex scandal joined by a financial scandal.

In the case of this Indonesian guy, the $100,000 was pinched by his and his girlfriend.

In other cases, it has been a scandal involving money and a man.

In some cases, it is child abuse.

I think we do not really hear about all the money scandals involving bishops. Bishops are lord of the manor when it comes to the diocese and its funds.

It would be very easy for a bishop to divert large sums of money into his own personal accounts or the accounts of mistresses, boyfriends or family members.

In fact, I would say that bishops using Church money for their own pursuits is very widespread and that we never hear about it.

Sometimes it is the sex scandal that also brings out the financial scandal too.

Nowadays bishops keep a very tight financial control on priests.

But who checks what a bishop is doing with the diocesan finances?

All church accounts should be totally transparent and thge bishop should have a set, public salary and like anyone else should have to hand over receipts for expenses he incurs.

For instance, we still do not know if Noel Treanor in Down and Connor spent ONE MILLION of FOUR MILLION on renovating his palace in Belfast ???


  1. Pat,
    Under the new Charities regulations in the Republic of Ireland Diocesan finances must be accounted for 100%. This means that they must publish accounts annually.

    1. When Pope Francis ordered an investigation into Vatican finances some think like 200 secret accounts were found.

      Do you really believe that around the world's 5000+ dioceses there are NO secret accounts?

    2. PS: Why will Noel Treanor not say how much he spent on Lisbreen?

    3. Why won't Treanor state how much he spent on Lisbreen? Because he knows the scandal such an extravagant sum would cause if it became publicly known. No wonder Treanor remains cagey about the affair.

      Treanor's continued silence suggests not only that speculation on the matter was accurate, but that the sum involved was closer to four million pounds than to one million.

      I recall a statement that was issued after reports of the expenditure made banner headlines: two donations had been received (the natural inference being that these had paid for the work in full).

      This was, at best, a clear example of mental reservation; at worst (if the intention was to deceive) an outright lie.

      Treanor should resign.

    4. I think he said Stormont gave him £350,000 towards it?

    5. I don't recall any figure's being mentioned, Bishop P., but you may be right.

      I suspect that the bulk of the money comprised diocesan contributions: donations from parishoners.

      I wonder how many of them know that their money was spent to satisfy ostentatious personal taste. Do they even care to know? They should, because they have a certain moral duty to ensure that their money is being spent 'for the good of the Church'. I don't believe any reasonable person could make even a plausible defence for a bishop's spending possibly as much as four million pounds renovating/refurbishing his already palatial home at any time, let alone in a period of economic recession.

    6. MC, As you probably saw some fold on here have complained of you using the s.... word to describe Pope Francis.

      In my ignorance I had never heard the word before.

      When I researched it - it is described as an offensive word for a Latino person?

      Did you know that?

      How do you feel about having used it?

    7. The answer for Magna's racism - complete avoidance and zero tolerance. He should be barred as every few days he reverts to his ignorant, nast, offensive ways. He morphs into a grotesque puece of humanity. Pat, you obviously depend on him for your blog! I believe you are losing credibility and any integrity you have by entertaining this arrogant, sick man. Please answer legitimate questions asked of you Pat by contributors. Stop avoiding.

    8. I do not depend on anyone for the blog.

      I think MC and all others should comment without being personal or rude.

  2. All of this leads me to one conclusion. Having been an institution for centuries the Church has lost site of God Spirituality and Respect for people.

    1. They may well have lost sight but they have an abundance of sites.

  3. The new nuncio to Ireland had an audience with Pope Francis today. It would be interesting to know about what.

    1. It included abuse in Maynooth; who failed to act and Charles Browne's role in the silence and ignoring of complaints.

    2. 18:59
      And you know this? How?

  4. Why did he use such a banal 19 century comment about people having work
    And why under all that is good and progressive would any bishop need to live in such a structure....nothing resembling the child in the manger.
    No wit, no understanding of how his flock will look upon this.
    He needs to get back to his roots and to the roots of the laity that expect to see a humble leader, no one that pushes a button to close his curtains
    Disgusting read today

  5. Pat can you not publish comments from any poster about another poster
    Thought you had agreed to stick with blog comments only.
    Please delete any comments about posters: shouldn’t be that difficult.
    You could have deleted the personal comments in the above post at 12.25.
    Most of us are sick of it.

  6. Arlene's on fire14 October 2017 at 13:34

    When the Irish News quizzed Noel about the cost of upgrading Lisbreen he said that the final figure was unknown, because all the invoices weren't in. Surely they've all been received by now? The Irish News should revisit the story.

    Also, if Lisbreen was so rundown, damp and gloomy and needing structural repairs the diocese should have sold it off and purchashed a new build house, or left the bishop in the six bedroom house he occupied while works on Lisbreen was going on. A new house would have cost a lot less than £1-4m, plus the proceeds of the Lisbreen sale would cover the cost.

  7. From various comments of mine on this blog, you should be aware by now, Bishop Pat, that I hold His 'Oiliness', Pope Francis, in almost visceral contempt. He is unashamedly two-faced on various, moral issues (the protection of children, for instance, from paedophile priests and their ennabling bishops): on the one hand, issuing attractive soundbites expressing empathy and solidarity with the vulnerable and/or marginalised; on the other, behaving in ways that are completely, and shockingly, contradictory of this. He is, truly, a pope who has further lowered people's expectations of the papacy (which must rank almost as a miracle of biblical significance, given the papacy-trashing, autocratic, hypocritical, and paedophile-protecting behaviour of his immediate two predecessors).

    It is hard sometimes to express one's contempt for such a person's behaviour without using words that offend (at least, the willingly offended). Indeed, I seem to recall that you yourself are not averse to using similar words and phrases.

    I know, too, that I am frequently reviled by certain commentors here, with such words as 'creep' (very recently), and 'creature' (again, to mention but a few), and many contemptuous references to alcoholism, and mental instability.

    I almost find it amusing that those who are so hot under their indignant moral collars about my applying that descriptive word to Pope Francis' behaviour were mute, deafeningly so, when it came to the frequent, and far worse, abuse that I have had to endure here. I shan't fully say what effect this hypocrisy has on me.

    I'm afraid (and you're not going to like this, but I hope you'll publish it nevertheless, since you invited me to comment) that I couldn't give the proverbial tuppence for their manufactured and selective moral outrage.

    Very sincerely,


    1. MAGNA, Your criticisms of Francis are fine - but what has his nationality or race to do with that?

      A man like you has the vocabulary to make those criticisms without resorting to words that can be viewed as discriminatory?

      Yes, I am sure that I have occasionally erred in my words and terms.

      I have also been deleting many personal comments about you.

      And you will notice I have edited your above comment a bit to avoid further tit for tat abuse.

      As MMM has said many of us get a lot from what you have to say when you refrain from using water closet language :-)

    2. You are not a “victim” MC. You are very bit as bad yourself - worse in fact. Learn some manners and restraint. And humility!

    3. *************


    4. True to form MC claims to be the victim after others call him out. Next he will make polite comments for a while.

    5. MC
      How is it ever appropriate in the context of critiquing someone’s behaviour, as you say you are doing of Pope Francis’, to make a derogatory reference to his race and origins?

    6. MournemanMichael15 October 2017 at 00:03

      Magna in respect of your criticisms of Francis could you please give information on actions taken by him of which you are critical, as opposed to actions you believe he should have taken. The latter could well be considered subjective value judgement. Additionally they may well not reflect the reality of the information at Francis's disposal, when he accessed it, nor the factors hindering him acting.
      Just as we now read of Trumps frustration at being unable to wield unrestricted executive power by the checks and balances of the US constitution, Francis has to contend with a Vatican self serving hierarchy much concerned with preserving status power and privilege possibly resenting changes to vested interests.
      For my part since I don't follow RC church doings other than standard news and +Pat's blog, my impression is that Francis seeks genuine changes but battles with Vatican vested interests.

  8. Agree with you A onfire, there was no need whatsoever for any person supported by the common people to live in this expensive renovation.
    Many a developer could have turned it into a hotel ,a night club ,a pub or another money making venture : would still have given work to ( our poor, ha ha that’s another laugh)

    1. It would have made a fine nursing home.

      Treanor is entitled to have accommodation for himself and even occasional guests.

      But 15,000 square feet.

      There are many vacant presbyteries in the diocese and he could live at his cathedral where there is a 5 star apartment occupied by the administrator?

  9. What is so important with the rcchurch that it needs to have a big house .
    Is it to store the red hats ?
    They must be so embarrassed by their big money spend on this.

  10. 14.41
    Anyone who tells a another poster to learn some manners has none himself/ her
    Actually your comment should not have been posted.

    1. Not true. Teachers and parents who are well mannered do it all the time.

  11. I agree with Magna that there is not much integrity in the church. They seem to say one thing and do something else. I don't always agree with the way he states his case. It is better to keep it factual.

  12. Arlene's on fire14 October 2017 at 19:17

    Even if Lisbreen's renovations cost £1m, the lowest figure quoted, it's madness when a new episcopal palace in an agreeable part of Belfast could be bought for around £700k. Just search Belfast houses for sale on PropertyPal. Seriously fancy houses for less than £1m.

  13. Arlene's on fire14 October 2017 at 19:18

  14. A mistress scandal? How boring... as if that's going to interest anyone coming here. LOL!