Franciscan religious order head says 'questionable' activities cause 'grave' financial crisis

The main Franciscan religious order in the Roman Catholic Church is in a financial crisis because of alleged wrongdoing from within and outside its ranks.

The head of the Order of Friars Minor said in a statement from Rome that questionable financial activities by some friars and outsiders have caused a grave situation that threatens the financial stability of the religious order.

The Rev. Michael Perry says the order's financial oversight was either too weak or was compromised.

The general treasurer in the order's administrative offices has resigned. The order has notified church and civil authorities and is reviewing its finances going back to 2003. Perry revealed the crisis in a statement posted Wednesday on the order's website.

The Order of Friars Minor has about 15,000 members worldwide.