Minnesota bishop-elect resigns after allegation of sexual abuse

By Tim Harlow, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Religious News

MINNEAPOLIS - A Rapid City, S.D., priest who was set to become the next Catholic bishop of Duluth has resigned following an allegation that he sexually abused a minor in the 1980s in South Dakota.

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop-elect Michel Mulloy, the Diocese of Duluth said Monday in a statement posted on its website.

The pope appointed Mulloy the 10th bishop of Duluth in June, with his installation set for Oct. 1.

In August, officials with the Diocese of Rapid City received word about an allegation against Mulloy concerning the sexual abuse of a minor in the early 1980s in Rapid City.

Rapid City Bishop Peter Muhich informed law enforcement officers of the allegation and Mulloy was directed to refrain from ministry, according to a statement from the Rapid City diocese. Officials there said they had received no other allegations of sexual abuse involving Mulloy.


"We grieve with all who have suffered sexual abuse and their loved ones," said the Rev. James B. Bissonette, diocesan administrator for the Diocese of Duluth, in a statement. "I ask you to pray for the person who has come forward with this accusation. 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."

Mulloy, 67, most recently served as vicar general and administrator for the Rapid City diocese. He studied at St. Mary's University and Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, Minn., and graduated from the St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul.

Mulloy was ordained a priest in Sioux Falls in June 1979, according to the St. Mary's University news service. He served parishes in the Sioux Falls and Rapid City dioceses before being joining the Rapid City diocese in 1986.

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