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Australian bishop admits: misconduct prompted retirement

Catholic World News - April 28, 2011

An Australian bishop who resigned in 2009 has admitted that he engaged in inappropriate relationships with “some young adults,” and apologized for “the hurt I have caused to these people and their families.”

Bishop Christopher Toohey had left his post as head of the Wilcannia-Forbes diocese last August, citing health reasons, but not mentioning any particular medical condition. At the time he was 57 years old.

Now Bishop Toohey has said that since his resignation “I have had time to reflect back on my life,” and realized that his behavior with young people “was not consistent with that required of a good person.” The bishop did not specify the nature of his relationships, and the Australian bishops’ conference said that he would not offer any further details “out of respect for the privacy of all concerned.”

Bishop Toohey did say that in light of his past misconduct he would not return to active priestly ministry.

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