MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A source within the Catholic Church confirmed Pope Francis himself has decided to take the rare step of removing the Catholic Bishop of Memphis from office.
Pope Francis removed Bishop Martin D. Holley effective Wednesday.
The Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said Holley’s removal is "about management of the diocese and is “not abuse-related.”
Holley claimed a once high ranking U-S Cardinal and the Pope’s ambassador to this country collaborated to oust him.
A CNA report quoted Holley saying a vendetta by Washington DC Cardinal Donald Wuerl led to his removal.
This is because Holley didn’t give Wuerl his recommendation when the Cardinal was being considered for Vatican Secretary of State in 2012.
WMC confirmed two high ranking archbishops visited Memphis in June to interview dozens of Memphis Catholics about alleged violations of church law and complaints about Diocesan finances.
Holley, 63, served as an Auxiliary Bishop in Washington, DC for 12 years before being installed as Bishop of Memphis two years ago.
He promptly transferred some 40 priests under his control, prompting outcries from parishioners and some pastors. Holley left Memphis Tuesday to visit Washington, DC.
The Archbishop of Louisville, Joseph Kurrtz, made a one day visit to Memphis where he met with staff and took over management of the 21 county West Tennessee Catholic Diocese of Memphis.
Kurtz will remain Archbishop of Louisville until the Pope appoints a new Memphis Bishop, a process that could take months or even a year.
Our source says the Diocese of Memphis will have an announcement about all of this and what happens next on Friday.