The bishop of Phoenix will act as administrator for the Diocese of Gallup, New Mexico, as its present bishop goes on medical leave for a year, the Arizona Republic reports.
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted will oversee the diocese after its sitting bishop, Donald E. Pelotte, began medical leave in December after he exhibited some unusual behavior.
Bishop Pelotte, 62, was hurt July 23 at his home. Though he said he fell down some steps, emergency-room personnel and others said the severity of his injuries indicated he could have been assaulted. After being treated in Phoenix, Texas, and Florida, he returned to Gallup in September.
Soon after his return, the bishop called police to report his home had been invaded by four “gentle people” three to four feet tall, who refused to leave. Police found no evidence of the intruders.
Bishop Pelotte, who has been bishop of Gallup since 1990, wrote to his diocese’s Catholics last month saying he plans to take “a different approach to my recovery” outside of the diocese.
Bishop Olmsted will effectively serve as bishop of Gallup in addition to his duties as Phoenix’s bishop. The appointment is temporary until Bishop Pelotte returns or a successor is chosen.