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Duluth diocese removes priest from public ministry

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Duluth has removed a retired priest from public ministry due to what it calls a credible accusation of sexually abusing a child.

A statement issued by the diocese on Sunday says the Rev. Cornelius Kelleher was recently accused of abusing a girl when he was pastor of St. Joseph's Church in Chisholm from 1975 to 1986. It says the decision means he is no longer allowed to function as a priest in retirement.

Kelleher served in a dozen parishes in the diocese from 1956 until he retired on July 11, 2012.

Diocese spokesman Kyle Eller says a letter from Bishop Paul Sirba was sent to every parish where Kelleher served to urge anyone else who was hurt to come forward.