Pope names administrator to run Brazil diocese after bishop arrest

Pope Francis waves as he leaves the Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican, March 21, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

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VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Wednesday appointed an extraordinary administrator to run a Brazilian diocese two days after its bishop was reported to have been arrested in a graft probe.

The Vatican said in a statement the pope had appointed Archbishop Paulo Mendes Peixoto, of the city of Uberaba, to run the diocese of Formosa for the Holy See.

Brazilian police on Monday arrested the bishop of Formosa, Jose Ribeiro, on allegations that he, along with other Catholic clergymen, stole about 2 million reais ($608,000) from church coffers, according to a report on the website of Globo TV.

A spokeswoman for the Goias state prosecutor's office said that some clergymen were arrested in Formosa but would not confirm their names.

Globo, citing police, reported that along with Ribeiro, authorities arrested four priests and a vicar general in connection to the case.

The Vatican statement did not mention the arrests.

(Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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