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Pope Forcibly Removes Memphis Bishop After Investigation

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Elena Elisseeva
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Pope Francis has forcibly removed the bishop of Memphis, Tennessee, Monsignor Martin Holley, following a Vatican investigation into the diocese.

The Vatican didn't say why Holley was removed. In a brief announcement Wednesday, the Vatican said only that Francis had "relieved (Holley) from the pastoral governance" of the diocese and named Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz to replace him temporarily until a new bishop is named.

The phrasing in the announcement is commonly used by the Vatican when the pope forcibly removes a bishop who refuses to resign voluntarily.

Earlier this year, the Vatican dispatched two archbishops to investigate Holley's actions since he became bishop in 2016, news reports said at the time. One of Holley's deputies resigned suddenly in June.

The results of the Vatican investigation haven't been made public.

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