Pope Francis has on Monday accepted the resignation of three Chilean bishop over claims of clerical sexual abuse.
They were among 34 Chilean bishops who offered to resign last month after Francis said the country’s religious hierarchy was collectively responsible for “grave defects” in handling sexual abuse cases and the church’s resulting loss of credibility.
A Vatican statement said Francis had accepted the resignations of the bishops and appointed temporary replacements.
The pope last month ordered all Chile’s bishops to attend an emergency summit in Rome to hear the findings of the experts’ 2,300-page report.
It exposed evidence that the Catholic hierarchy in Chile systematically covered up and downplayed cases of abuse, destroyed evidence of sexual crimes, discredited accusers and showed “grave negligence” by not protecting children from paedophile priests.
Since 2000, about 80 Roman Catholic Priests have been reported to authorities in Chile for sexual abuse.