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Indonesia

New era beckons scandal-hit Indonesian diocese

Ruteng Diocese set to install bishop to replace prelate forced to quit over missing cash, affair with woman

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New era beckons scandal-hit Indonesian diocese

Bishop-elect Siprianus Hormat receives a warm welcome from Catholics in Ruteng on Feb. 28. (Photo supplied)

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Protests by dozens of priests and laypeople sparked a Vatican investigation resulting in the resignation of Bishop Hubertus Leteng of Ruteng in October 2017.

The bishop was accused of embezzling church funds and having an affair with a woman.

This year, the diocese that covers three districts in western Flores — Manggarai, West Manggarai and East Manggarai — with more than 800.000 Catholics is preparing for the ordination of its new bishop on March 19.

Bishop-elect Siprianus Hormat, 54, was appointed by Pope Francis in September while he was serving as executive secretary of the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference.

When he arrived in Ruteng on Feb. 28, large crowds of people lined roadsides to greet him in a spectacle that had never been seen before.

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