Pope Francis on Tuesday accepted the resignation of the embattled Bishop Rick Stika of Knoxville, Tennessee.
Stika, 65, was investigated by the Vatican for mismanagement of his diocese. He is also named in a 2022 lawsuit (refiled in 2023) accusing him of protecting a seminarian accused of multiple counts of rape.
The lawsuit also claims Stika attempted to intimidate an alleged victim, a parish organist, into keeping quiet about the alleged sexual assault by Wojciech Sobczuk and of having accused the alleged victim of being the perpetrator.
Pope Francis named Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre of Louisville, Kentucky, as the Diocese of Knoxville’s apostolic administrator until a new bishop is appointed.
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