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Abuse: Pope defrocks 2 bishops

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Pope Francis has stripped two Chilean bishops of their duties as priests amid claims that they are linked to the sexual abuse of minors.

 

They are Francisco José Cox Huneeus, archbishop emeritus of La Serena, and Marco Antonio Órdenes Fernández, archbishop emeritus of Iquique. The Vatican issued a statement on their defrocking after a meeting between the pontiff and the president of Chile.

 

The decision could not be appealed against, it said on Saturday. It was announced as Pope Francis met Chile’s President Sebastian Piñera in the Vatican, where the two spoke particularly about “the painful scourge of abuse of minors”.

 

More than 100 Catholic clergy are being investigated in Chile over alleged sex crimes and attempts to cover them up. All 34 of Chile’s bishops offered their resignations to the Pope in May over the scandal. The pontiff accepted three resignations in June.

 

Police have raided offices and seized Church documents in the capital Santiago and the city of Rancagua as part of their investigation. In September Pope Francis defrocked former priest Fernando Karadima, 88, for having sexually abused minors, reports the BBC.

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