Pope begins purge in Chile as bishop resigns over abuse scandal

Pope begins purge in Chile as bishop resigns over abuse scandal

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the bishop at the centre of Chile’s clerical sex abuse scandal as he launches the purge of a church that has lost its credibility in the country after accusations of abuse and cover-up.

A Vatican statement said Francis had accepted the resignations of Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, as well as Bishop Gonzalo Duarte of Valparaiso and Bishop Cristian Caro of Puerto Montt.

Of the three, only the 61-year-old Barros is below the retirement age of 75.

Barros has been at the centre of Chile’s growing scandal ever since Francis appointed him bishop of Osorno in 2015, even though he had been a lieutenant of Chile’s most notorious predator priest and had been accused by victims of witnessing and ignoring their abuse.

- Press Association

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