Published: Mon, October 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Pope defrocks two Chilean bishops over sex abuse crisis

Pope defrocks two Chilean bishops over sex abuse crisis

Pope Francis on Saturday dismissed two Chilean bishops from their duties as priests amid allegations that they are linked to the sexual abuse of minors, the Vatican said in a statement.

The Vatican identified the two men as Francisco José Cox Huneeus, archbishop emeritus of the city of La Serena, and Marco Antonio Órdenes Fernández, archbishop emeritus of Iquique.

In both cases article 21 2, 2 of the motu proprio "Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela" was applied, as a outcome of manifest abuse of minors.

This was announced at the day of the meeting of the Pope with President of Chile Sebastian Pinera.

"We share a hope that the church can undergo a true rebirth and regain the affection and closeness of its followers and can continue to play an important role in our country", he told reporters.

It later transpired he had been accused of sexual abuse, sparking both a church and a civil investigation.

Pope Francis waves as he leaves after leading a Mass for the canonisation of the Pope Paul VI and El Salvador's Archbishop Oscar Romero at the Vatican October 14, 2018.

Last seen in public in 2013, Fernandez has reportedly been living a life of penitence and prayer in Peru, she wrote.

Now 85 and reportedly in poor health, the prelate has lived at the institute since 2002, Ms San Martin said.

Cox, who is believed to have returned to Germany after a period in Chile, could not be reached for comment.

Legal proceedings were initiated in Germany against Cox over the alleged abuse of a child in care in 2004, Deutsche Welle radio reported.

The expulsions come a few weeks after the pope defrocked Chilean priest Fernando Karadima, who was found guilty by the church in 2011 of sexually abusing minors.

Chile has been hit by one of the worst sexual abuse crises in the Catholic Church, a scandal that prompted all of the country's 34 bishops to offer their resignation to the pope last May.

"Now it's up to the Chilean justice to do something!" Ahora le toca a la justicia chilena hacer algo!

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