A retired Bolivian bishop tapped by Pope Francis to be a cardinal is furiously denying suggestions that he has a wife and children and is threatening legal action.

Toribio Ticona said Wednesday that he "has nothing to do" with the alleged actions and said he would bring a legal complaint if the claims continue.

Francis named the 81-year-old cardinal last week. Ticona says the accusations were disproven after they first emerged in 2011 and have "resurfaced as slander in an attempt to attack" the pope by "sectors that are hostile" to the pontiff.

The accusations recently appeared in the Catholic blog "Adelanto en la Fe" — "Forward in the Faith." It cites a 2011 complaint to local Catholic authorities that says Ticona had a family in a rural town.