Vatican City, Oct 15, 2018 / 12:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Pope Francis has officially expelled two Chilean bishops from the clerical state. Both men were accused of sexual abuse of minors. The decision was issued without the possibility to appeal, the Vatican announced on Saturday.
The Vatican announced that Francisco José Cox Huneeus, 84, archbishop emeritus of La Serena, Chile, and Marco Antonio Órdenes Fernández, 53, bishop emeritus of Iquique, Chile, were removed from the clerical state “as a consequence of manifest abuse of minors.”
Both former bishops have reportedly been living retired lives of prayer and penance for some years now.
By Vatican order, Cox has been living at the institute of the Schönstatt Fathers, of which order he is a member, in Santiago since 2002. Fernandez retired from office in 2012 at the age of 42, due to health problems. He is believed to have retired to Peru, and has not been seen publicly since 2013, according to the New York Times.
The expulsion of the two bishops comes several months after 34 sitting bishops of Chile offered their resignations to the Pope during a crisis meeting in May. That meeting followed a Vatican investigation that revealed systematic sexual abuse and cover-up among the clergy in the country.