Shadow of a cross © Harald Oppitz (KNA)
Catholic Bishop of Palmerston North in New Zealand, Charles Drennan, has resigned over a sexual affair. The Vatican announced the resignation Friday without giving reasons.
Drennan had headed the diocese since 2012 and was a member of the Te Ropu Tautoko contact group, which coordinates cooperation between the Catholic Church and a state abuse commission.
The diocese of Palmerston North, in a statement released at the same time, cited a young woman's complaint of "unacceptable behavior of a sexual nature" as the reason. Cardinal John Dew, archbishop of Wellington, subsequently ordered an investigation by an independent expert, during which time Drennan rested his duties, he said.
Those affected should come forward
The woman in question had asked that details remain private, Dew announced. He called the bishop's behavior "totally unacceptable" and ared the woman and her relatives of support from the church. The church has "no tolerance for any inappropriate behavior of its members," the cardinal said. Those affected should report to the church, the police or an organization they trust.