Cathedral rector and vicar general resigns from Diocese of Winona, MN amid newspaper investigation into past

WINONA — The second-highest ranking official at the Catholic Diocese of Winona resigned Wednesday after the Post-Bulletin discovered that he admitted under oath in the early 1990s that he had a sexual relationship with a college freshman whom he was counseling.

The relationship lasted for more than a year, according to court documents obtained by the Post-Bulletin, and included a pregnancy scare.

The Rev. Msgr. Richard Colletti, 63, who since 2011 had been vicar general of the diocese that serves the 20 southern counties of Minnesota, also resigned as chancellor, the chief record keeper for the diocese. The resignations were effective immediately.

Bishop John Quinn said Wednesday night that had Colletti not offered his resignation, "it would have been within my role to (terminate him). I would have needed more time to discuss all of that with him, but before I even began that discussion, Monsignor informed me that he wished to resign."

The Post-Bulletin obtained hundreds of pages of court documents, including Colletti's testimony taken during a personal injury lawsuit filed by the victim in 1991. The case was dismissed with prejudice in January 1994 by Judge Margaret Shaw Johnson in Winona County District Court.
continue at Post Bulletin

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