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Three Catholic bishops resign over sex abuse scandal

Three Chilean Bishops have presented their resignations letters to Pope Francis over allegation of sexual misconduct.

Pope Francis accepted their resignations following sex abuse scandals, including Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, the city at the centre of the uproar, the Telegraph UK reports.

All Chile’s 34 bishops had offered to resign en masse in May after attending a crisis meeting with the pope over allegations of a cover-up of sexual abuse in the South American nation.

The Pope accepted the resignation of the three bishops on Monday but it was not immediately clear if the move meant that he would not accept any of the other resignations.

Besides Barros, the pope also agreed to the departures of Cristian Caro Cordero, bishop of Puerto Montt, and Gonzalo Duarte García de Cortazar, bishop of Valparaiso.

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

The Pope has promised Chilean Catholics scarred by a culture of clergy sexual abuse that “never again” would the Church ignore them or the cover-up of abuse in their country.

The scandal revolves around Father Fernando Karadima, who was found guilty in a Vatican investigation in 2011 of abusing boys in Santiago in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Now 87 and living in a nursing home in Chile, he has always denied any wrongdoing.

Barros was accused by the victims of having witnessed the abuse but did nothing to stop it. Barros has however denied the allegations.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s most experienced sexual abuse investigator, visited Chile earlier this year to look into the scandal. He has been sent back to Chile to gather more information.

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