Pope Francis accepts resignation of three Chilean bishops

Pope Francis accepts resignation of three Chilean bishops

Pope Francis accepted Monday, June 11, the resignation of 3 Chilean bishops including the controversial Juan Barros following a child sex abuse scandal in Chile which has come to haunt his papacy.

All 34 of Chile's bishops had offered to resign last month, but Pope Francis announced only three would be stepping aside - Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, Bishop Gonzalo Duarte of Valparaiso and Bishop Cristian Caro of Puerto Montt.

Barros had previously been accused by Karadima's victims of having witnessed and ignored their abuse - but Francis has allowed him to stay in the top post for three years. During his visit to Chile in January, Francis upset abuse survivors and their loved ones when he dismissed the allegations against Barros as "calumny", claiming there was no evidence and saying he had never seen proof against the bishop.

Barros' removal, which had been expected, was met with praise by abuse survivors and Catholics in Osorno, who warned, though, that more resignations and actions must follow to heal the devastation wrought by the scandal.

Bishop Juan Barros, long accused of helping to cover up a notorious sex abuse case in the Catholic Church in Chile, has resigned.

Barros, 61, is accused of covering up the crimes of Father Fernando Karadima who was first accused of abusing teenage boys in Chile in 1984.

It was not immediately clear if Monday's move meant Francis would not accept any of the other resignations. "The band of delinquent bishops ... begins to disintegrate today".

According to the report, the church administrators were appointed to run all three diocese.

Juan Carlos Claret, spokesman for a group of Osorno lay Catholics who fiercely opposed Barros, said Francis' acceptance of the resignation signaled "the end of the damage" that the pope himself had inflicted on the diocese by appointing Barros in the first place.

About 80 Roman Catholic priests have been reported to authorities in Chile for alleged sexual abuse over the past 18 years. He has been sent back to Chile to gather more information.

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