Chilean bishop resigns amid sex abuse inquiry
The resignation of Bishop Marco Antonio Ordenes Fernandez of Iquique, Chile, marks one of the few times that the Vatican has acknowledged publicly it was investigating a bishop for sex abuse allegations. Advocates for clerical sex abuse victims have long complained the Vatican has looked the other way when bishops have been accused of abuse or of covering it up.
The Vatican said yesterday that the pope has accepted Ordenes’ resignation under the code of canon law that says a bishop must resign if he is sick or because some other “grave” reason makes him unsuitable for his job.
The 47-year-old Ordenes suffers from a liver ailment and has been seeking medical treatment. But the Vatican Embassy in Santiago confirmed Oct. 2 that it had been investigating Ordenes since April and was offering psychological and other care to “those affected.”
The Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi, said the link between the resignation and the investigation “can be considered obvious.” [more]