VATICAN CITY, (Reuters) - Pope Francis has removed from office Bishop Martin Holley of Memphis, Tennessee, the Vatican said on Wednesday.
A Vatican spokesman said the decision had been taken over “an issue of management and had nothing to do with sexual abuse”.
The Vatican’s statement was unusually tough, saying the 63-year-old had been “relieved of the governance” of the diocese. Such announcements usually say the pope has accepted a resignation.
The widely-read National Catholic Reporter newspaper said Holley had been the subject of a Vatican investigation in June following complaints among priests about his leadership.
The newspaper said Holley had transferred about 75 percent of the diocese’s priests shortly after his appointment in 2016.
Reuters was not able to verify the report independently.
Holley was not immediately available for comment and The Catholic Diocese of Memphis in Tennessee did not respond to a request for comment early on Wednesday.
The Vatican said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville had been appointed to administer the diocese until further notice.
Reporting By Philip Pullella; Additional reporting by Peter Szekely in New York; Editing by Andrew Heavens