Vastavam web: Pope Francis has defrocked two Chilean bishops accused of molesting minors, as he tries to tackle the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandals around the world. The Vatican said on Saturday that Francisco José Cox Huneeus, 84, the former archbishop emeritus of La Serena, and Marco Antonio Órdenes Fernández, 53, who was archbishop emeritus of Iquique, were expelled from the priesthood following local and Vatican investigations.
It comes as the Church faces sexual abuse crises in Chile and a host of other countries, including the United States, Germany and Australia. The move prompted speculation that it could be a harbinger of action against other prelates, perhaps including Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C. The pope ordered McCarrick, once of the U.S. Church’s most prestigious figures, to go into seclusion and live a life of prayer. But he is still an archbishop and priest, pending a Vatican investigation.
Last month Francis defrocked Father Fernando Karadima, an 88-year-old Chilean priest who was accused of sexually abusing teenage boys over many years. Chile’s scandal prompted all of the country’s 34 bishops to offer their resignation to the pope last May. He has so far accepted seven.