Top Catholic Church dignitaries in Slovenia resign over financial problems

  • Updated: July 31, 2013 - 7:45 AM

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia — Slovenia's top Catholic Church dignitaries resigned on Wednesday in the wake of financial problems involving one of the dioceses in the country.

Apostolic Nuncio Juliusz Janusz said Pope Francis has accepted the resignations of the Archbishop of Ljubljana, Anton Stres, and the Archbishop of Maribor, Marjan Turnsek. Temporary administrators have been appointed.

The two were involved in financial mismanagement at the church in Maribor, but face no allegations of criminal misconduct.

The scandal dates back to 2011, when media reported the diocese suffered losses of up to 800 million euros ($1.1 billion) on investments in a chain of failing businesses, including a nationwide TV network known for its variety of porn channels.

Maribor's previous bishop, Franc Kramberger, resigned after the reports. Stres and Turnsek were at the time also allegedly involved in the diocese's finances, though they argue they weren't the most responsible for the losses.

The Vatican confirmed the pope had accepted the resignations, but refused further comment.

Pope Francis has made clear that he has no tolerance for waste, financial or otherwise. He has denounced consumerism and the world's "throw away" culture while making a priority of reaching out to the world's poor.

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