Nearly 70 priests resign in Indonesia in protest at their bishop

An Indonesian worker cleans the pews at the main cathedral in Jakarta, Indonesia.Reuters

Nearly 70 Catholic  priests have resigned their posts in Indonesia after levelling accusations at their bishop that the bishop has condemned as 'slanderous'.

Bishop Hubertus Leteng is being accused of mismanaging $100,000, according to the Catholic Herald.

The 69 priests of Ruteng diocese accused church leaders of failing to meet their demands and address allegations against their bishop that they have  been making over three years. Three years ago they presented a petition calling for his resignation to the Indonesian Bishops' Conference.

Bishop Leteng insists the claims are false and that the money was used to pay for educating a youth from a poor family. He also denies having an affair.

One priest said that reform was badly needed 'so the Church can be truly in line with the guidance of the Holy Spirit'.

He said, 'We demand renewal in pastoral work as well as in church and financial management.'

Bishop Leteng is alleged to have borrowed around $94,000 from the Bishops' Conference and a further $30,000 from his own diocese.

One priest told the bishop had told them it was to finance the education of the poor youth, who was studying to be a pilot.