Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

New Zealand bishop resigns over 'unacceptable behaviour' with young woman

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By CNA News
10/7/2019 (2 months ago)
Catholic Online (

The Vatican announced Friday that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a bishop in New Zealand, following an investigation into a complaint of "unacceptable behaviour of a sexual nature" made by a young woman.

Bishop Zuchetto resigns over sexual abuse

Bishop Zuchetto resigns over sexual abuse


By CNA News
Catholic Online (
10/7/2019 (2 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy


Palmerston North, New Zealand, (CNA) - The Vatican announced Friday that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a bishop in New Zealand, following an investigation into a complaint of "unacceptable behaviour of a sexual nature" made by a young woman.

Bishop Charles Drennan, 59, was the subject of an investigation by Cardinal John Dew of Wellington. Drennan had led the Diocese of Palmerston North since 2012.

Under Vos estis lux mundi, recent guidelines for investigations into misconduct claims against bishops which Pope Francis announced in May, metropolitan archbishops are placed in charge of investigations into suffragan bishops. Cardinal Dew is Archbishop of Wellington, to whom the rest of New Zealand's diocesan bishops are suffragan.

Dew said Oct. 4 that upon receiving the young woman's complaint, the New Zealand Church's independent investigation body, the National Office of Professional Standards (NOPS), contracted an "independent, licenced investigator" to investigate under Dew's oversight. The woman requested that details of the complaint remain private, Dew said.

In its Oct. 4 bulletin announcing episcopal resignations and appointments, the Vatican did not specify the reason for Drennan's resignation.

Bishop Drennan stood aside from his duties during the investigation and both he and the complainant participated in the investigation. Dew said the Church has been in ongoing contact with the woman and is committed to continuing to support her.

"The Catholic Church has no tolerance for any inappropriate behaviour by any of its members. I encourage anyone who experiences such behaviour to bring it to the attention of the Church, police or any organisation with which they feel comfortable," Dew said Oct. 4.

The Associated Press reports that Drennan was a member of the New Zealand church team of priests and sisters selected to respond to the country's Royal Commission inquiry into sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults in state and faith-based care between 1950-1999. He was also secretary of the New Zealand bishop's conference.

Drennan was also chosen by the nation's bishops as a delegate from New Zealand to the Vatican's 2015 Synod on the Family, and he also attended the Synod on the New Evangelization in 2012.

He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Christchurch in 1996, and was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Palmerston North in 2011, succeeding as ordinary the following year.


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'

Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK


More Politics & Policy

China punishes families of those who speak out in America, Congress hears Watch

Image of

A Uighur-American whose mother has been held captive in a Chinese detention camp was one of several witnesses to testify on Tuesday before ... continue reading

Survey: Americans dissatisfied with bishops' response to sex abuse crisis Watch

Image of Young man in church

 Americans largely disapprove of the way the U.S. bishops have handled the sex abuse scandal in the U.S. Catholic Church, a new survey ... continue reading

What do practicing Catholics think about the 2020 election? Watch

Image of President Trump

Catholics who say they accept all Church teachings are more likely than other Americans to say they are planning to vote for Donald Trump ... continue reading

Pelosi fumes: 'I don't hate anybody. I was raised Catholic' Watch

Image of

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Thursday rejected the suggestion that she "hates" President Donald Trump, and said that her Catholic ... continue reading

Pope Francis names Mexican-born bishop coadjutor of San Bernardino Watch

Image of A bishops pectoral cross

Pope Francis Monday named Bishop Alberto Rojas, an auxiliary bishop of Chicago, to be coadjutor of the Diocese of San Bernardino, ... continue reading

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.