Pope begins purge in Chile church over sex abuse scandal

Pope begins purge in Chile church over sex abuse scandal
The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the bishop at the center of Chile’s clerical sex abuse scandal and two others as he launches the purge of a church that has lost its credibility under an avalanche of accusations of abuse and cover-up.

A Vatican statement Monday said Francis had accepted the resignations of Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, 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 center 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.

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