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Former vicar general still in the pulpit

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This story was revised at 8:45 p.m. June 15.

WINONA — The man who abruptly resigned as vicar general and chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Winona continues to say Mass and celebrate the sacraments , parishioners say.

The Rev. Msgr. Richard Colletti has officiated at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart and St. Casimir, both in Winona, according to parishioners who were present.

Colletti, 63, resigne d a week ago after the Post-Bulletin discovered 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, and included a pregnancy scare.

The woman filed a personal injury lawsuit in 1991 against Colletti, the diocese, Saint Mary's University and the Church of St. John the Evangelist, where Colletti was later transferred. The parties settled the case three years later. Though the file remains open, the terms of the settlement are confidential.


The vicar general is the second-highest ranking position in the diocese . Colletti also resigned from his position as administrative chaplain for the Winona Newman Center .

Ben Frost, the diocese's public relations director, told the Post-Bulletin late Wednesday that Colletti resigned his leadership positions but was not suspended from his assignment as a priest.

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