Today, three Chilean bishops resigned to Pope Francis amid the country’s widespread sexual abuse scandal in the Chilean Catholic Church. The resignations came while the pope was meeting with abuse victims in Chile.
All 31 active bishops in Chile have offered to resign, and while these three bishops are the first to have their resignations accepted by Francis, it’s not certain yet how the Pope will treat the pending 28 issuances. (h/t NPR)
Francis has set himself apart from previous popes for his concessions and confessions regarding the scandal. He’s apologized personally for the way he’s handled the scandal and made excuses for the bishops and other church officials who were implicated. It’s possible that these shortcomings are affecting the way Francis is reacting to the resignations.
There are more bishops accused of covering up the Chilean abuse scandal of the ’80s and ’90s, but they haven’t issued resignations. Francis said recently in a letter to the people of Chile that there was “a culture of abuse and cover-up” in their country’s church. Time will tell how the pope’s actions lead to real change.