August 26, 2013

Two Slovenian archbishops, including the president of the Slovenian bishops’ conference, resigned because of their connection to multimillion-dollar financial losses by the Archdiocese of Maribor.

Pope Francis accepted the resignations of Archbishops Anton Stres, 70, of Ljubljana, who also resigned as president of the bishops’ conference, and Marjan Turnsek, 58, of Maribor.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told journalists that their resignations July 31 were in connection to a financial scandal.

The Archdiocese of Maribor, together with two other dioceses, had been co-owners of a number of private holding companies that fell into financial ruin because of about 700 million euros in losses.

The companies reportedly made high-risk investments and took out unsecure bank loans over the years.

The archdiocese had tried to prop up the companies’ mounting debt by putting a number of its real estate assets up as collateral.