Dozens of Indonesian Priests Resign Over Bishop’s Embezzlement

At least 69 Indonesian priests accused their bishop of embezzling more than US $100,000 of church funds for personal use and then resigned, the Catholic Register reported Thursday.


Jakarta Indonesia Jakarta-Cathedral-07St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Jakarta (Photo: Uwe Aranas, CC BY-SA 3.0)They quit posts as episcopal vicars and parish priests in response to Bishop Huber Ubertus Leteng’s ongoing inaction on overhauling the way the diocese is run. They say massive change is needed "so the church can be truly in line with the guidance of the Holy Spirit."

"We would not have done this, had there been a positive response to our demands," said a member of the priest's council who asked not to be named.

The source claimed that last year the bishop borrowed heavily from the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference and from the diocese, but failed to provide an accountability report.

The bishop told priests that the money was used to finance the education of a poor student who is studying to be a pilot, according to the source.

When pressed for details, the bishop allegedly told the priests that the matter was none of their business.

Last year, 112 of the diocese’s 167 priests signed a letter of no confidence in the bishop on suspicions that the money had gone to a woman with whom the bishop is allegedly having an affair.

The bishop has denied the allegation and called it slanderous.