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Pope Francis Calls For Investigation Into Memphis Church Leadership

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Local 24 News has learned Pope Francis called for an investigation into church leadership in Memphis, including Bishop Martin Holley. It would be the latest controversy surrounding the bishop who took over the diocese 2 years ago.

We are told the Pope ordered the investigation in Memphis in response to numerous complaints from priests and parishioners.

We have learned two archbishops were in Memphis this week.

A conservative website called "Church Militant" published an article about the investigation Thursday, saying they interviewed clergy and church members.

At this point it is unclear exactly why the investigation is taking place. However, parishioners were not happy with Bishop Holley's decision to transfer a majority of pastors. Also, there are reports financial donations have dropped dramatically since the moves.

Holley served as auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese in Washington D.C. before coming to Memphis in 2016.

Sources with the Catholic Church said the Memphis Diocese could be dissolved and combined with Nashville or St. Louis.

A spokesperson for the Catholic Diocese of Memphis sent us this statement:

Today's online article from ChurchMilitant.com, "Major Vatican Investigation of Memphis, Tn Diocese," makes reference to, and comments on, matters that fall under the auspices and authority of the Holy See, Pope Francis. It is contrary to the canons of the Church to make statements on Pope Francis' behalf or to issue any unauthorized comment.

We are told no statement has been made to any employees or people about what exactly going on.

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