Pope Francis accepts resignations of three Chilean bishops

Pope Francis accepts resignations of three Chilean bishops

Barros has denied the allegations that he covered up the actions of Fernando Karadima, once one of Chile's most popular priests who prepared boys for the priesthood.

The two other bishops, who had reached the customary retirement age of 75, were Archbishop Cristian Caro Cordero of Puerto Montt and Bishop Gonzalo Duarte Garcia de Cortazar of Valparaiso.

Church leaders also announced that Pope Francis would meet representatives of survivors of clerical abuse and residential abuse during the course of his two days in Ireland.

Victims accused Barros of having witnessed the abuse but doing nothing to stop it. Barros was named bishop of Osorno in 2015 by Pope Francis, who ignored objections from some clergy and churchgoers. Joining him is Marie Collins, an Irish survivor of abuse who resigned from O'Malley's panel a year ago in frustration over the Vatican's resistance to listening to victims.

In a statement Monday, Barros asked forgiveness "for my limitations and what I couldn't handle". "Is that clear?" the Pope had said at the time. But they warned that more resignations and actions must follow to heal he devastation wrought by the scandal.

"Today begins a new day for the Catholic Church in Chile and hopefully the world", Juan Carlos Cruz, the key witness in the abuse case, said on Twitter.

"I'm thrilled for all those who have fought to see this day", he said.

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He denies the charges, but he joined 30 of Chile's other active bishops in offering their resignations to Francis at an extraordinary Vatican summit last month.

The scandal and fury over the bishop cast a dark shadow over Francis' visit to Chile earlier this year: At least five churches were attacked in Santiago - some with firebombs - and a death threat was made against the pope. The leader of the Roman Catholic Church accepted Barros's resignation as well as those of two others in Chile.

A Vatican official said Monday's move represented a first step towards re-ordering the battered Roman Catholic Church in Chile and that the pope was still considering the positions of the other prelates.

The Pope's move comes after he received two groups of victims of Fernando Karadima at the Vatican. But the Scicluna-Bertomeu report exposed a far bigger scandal that has implicated several religious orders, including priests and brothers in the Franciscans, the Legion of Christ, the Marist Brothers and the Salesian orders. "We hope this is the beginning of the end of this culture of abuse and cover-up in the Church".

An global family rally the Catholic Church is hosting in Ireland will feature workshops on hot-button issues facing Catholic families, including protecting children from clergy sexual abuse, weathering divorce and ministering to lesbian and gay faithful.

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

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