Argentine bishops call for forgiveness and conversion in wake of sexual scandal involving bishop.

.- The Executive Committee of the Bishops’ Conference of Argentina issued a statement this week in response to the unexpected resignation of Bishop Juan Carlos Maccarone of Santiago del Estero, who stepped down after reports he engaged in sexual misconduct with an adult man. In the brief statement the bishops said, “The Church, in the weakness of her children, is a sign in the world of the mercy of God the Father in Jesus Christ.  This demands of us a constant, day-by-day conversion and penance without fear of the truth or attempts to hide it.”

“At this time we feel the suffering and confusion of our people.  It’s time to renew our trust in the power of God’s grace,” the statement adds.  The bishops also expressed their solidarity “with the presbyterate and the people of Santiago del Estero.”

In the face of persistent reports of sexual misconduct with an adult man, Bishop Maccarone, 64, decided to present his resignation, which Pope Benedict XVI immediately accepted.

The bishop will retire to an undetermined place.  “We accompany our brother with affection, understanding and prayer,” the bishops said.

“May Mary, Queen of the Apostles, protect and comfort us in this moment of trial,” the statement concludes.


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