Pope de­frocks 2 Chilean bish­ops

Toronto Sun - - NEWS -

VAT­I­CAN CITY — Pope Fran­cis Satur­day de­frocked two more Chilean bish­ops ac­cused of sex­u­ally abus­ing mi­nors, and to show greater trans­parency about how he’s re­spond­ing to the church’s global sex abuse cri­sis, he pub­licly ex­plained why they were re­moved.

The Vat­i­can’s un­usu­ally de­tailed state­ment an­nounc­ing the lai­ciza­tion of re­tired arch­bishop Fran­cisco Jose Cox Huneeus and re­tired bishop Marco An­to­nio Or­denes Fer­nan­dez sig­nalled a new de­gree of trans­parency fol­low­ing past mis­steps by Fran­cis that showed he had grossly un­der­es­ti­mated the grav­ity of the abuse scan­dal.

The state­ment said the two were de­frocked for abus­ing mi­nors with ev­i­dence so over­whelm­ing that a canon­i­cal trial was un­nec­es­sary.

The Vat­i­can said the de­ci­sion can’t be ap­pealed.

Cox, 87 and suf­fer­ing from de­men­tia, is a mem­ber of the Schoen­statt re­li­gious or­der and had served as a bishop in Chillan, Chile, be­fore be­com­ing the No. 2 of­fi­cial at the Vat­i­can’s Pon­tif­i­cal Coun­cil for the Fam­ily, a high-pro­file po­si­tion dur­ing St. John Paul II’s pa­pacy.

He re­turned to Chile and be­came bishop in La Ser­ena un­til he left in 1997 un­der un­clear cir­cum­stances.

Or­denes Fer­nan­dez, 53, for his part, was made bishop of Iquique, in north­ern Chile, in 2006 at the young age of 42.

He re­tired six years later al­legedly for health rea­sons.

But sub­se­quently al­le­ga­tions of abuse were lev­elled against him.

POPE FRAN­CIS

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