Pope accepts resignation of Chilean bishop accused of abusing a minor

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Catholic News Service

10 October 2012

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict accepted the resignation of a Chilean bishop who is under a Vatican investigation for the alleged sexual abuse of a minor.

The Vatican announced the resignation of Chilean Bishop Marco Antonio Ordenes Fernandez of Iquique Oct. 9, citing Canon 401.2 of the Code of Canon Law, which states that “a diocesan bishop who has become less able to fulfill his office because of ill health or some other grave cause is earnestly requested to present his resignation from office.”

Bishop Ordenes has been under investigation by the Vatican since April for suspected abuse, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, confirmed Oct. 10.

While the bishop, who will be 48 on Oct. 29, has no governing authority over the diocese, he is still allowed to exercise his priestly duties, according to a spokesman for the Chilean bishops’ conference.

The spokesman, Jaime Coiro, said the church will be cooperating fully with the country’s judicial authorities in regard to the accusation.

Bishop Alejandro Goic Karmelic of Rancagua, vice president of the Chilean bishops’ conference, expressed the bishops’ shock, saying the pain was made more acute because it involved a bishop, who is “called to be a good shepherd and servant of the Gospel of Jesus.”

The bishops’ conference confirmed Oct. 2 that Bishop Ordenes had been accused of sex abuse and that he had been on medical leave in Peru for a liver ailment.

Coiro said the Vatican nunciature was providing “counseling and support for those affected.”

During a news conference on the eve of his resignation, Bishop Ordenes said he felt “calm and at peace with God’s judgment because he knows my heart and truth.”

He said though many times he may have made mistakes, he never tried to hurt, offend or manipulate anyone, reported the Chilean daily, La Tercera.

The newspaper reported that the accuser told reporters that he felt “guilty and dirty” after his first sexual encounter with the bishop, but then he fell in love with him when he was 16. He said the bishop told him, “I am your father, I see you as a son, a brother, a lover and a friend.”

The man said he will release audio tapes of the bishop so that the people of Chile would know more about who the bishop is. He did not give specifics about the tapes.

The alleged victim said the bishop is a popular and intelligent man, but asked rhetorically, “And what about the negative part, which is the most important, the abuse of children?”


Chile: Bishop Accused of Sexually Abusing a Minor Quits

The New York Times

Published: October 9, 2012


The Vatican on Tuesday accepted the resignation of a Chilean bishop accused of sexually abusing a minor. Bishop Marco Antonio Ordenes Fernandez acknowledged “an imprudent act” in an interview with a local newspaper, but denied that his accuser was a minor at the time. “I am not a pedophile,” he said. His accuser, Rodrigo Pino, 30, says that the abuse started when he was 15 and that he wrestled with his feelings for years before approaching prosecutors in 2009. “I’m not doing this for money or revenge,” he said in an interview. “I want justice.”


Chilean Catholic bishop accused of abuse resigns: Vatican


Reuters – Tue, Oct 9, 2012

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Benedict accepted the resignation on Tuesday of a bishop in Chile accused of sexually abusing a minor, the latest in a series of such scandals to rock the Roman Catholic Church.

The Vatican did not specify the reason for the resignation of Bishop Marco Antonio Ordenes Fernandez of the city of Iquique but it followed a complaint by a local man, Rodrigo Pino, who said he had been abused by the prelate when he was 15.

The Vatican, as it has done in similar cases, said only that the resignation was in conformity with an article of Church law which says bishops must step down if they are unable to fulfill their duties because of health or “another serious reason”.

The Chilean Bishops Conference said last week that Ordenes was put under investigation after the complaint and had taken medical leave.

A series of sexual abuse scandals by clerics have proved one of the most difficult challenges to the Catholic Church, forcing it to pay tens of millions of dollars in compensation.

The scandal has led to the resignation of a number of bishops in Europe but most were accused of mishandling cases of sexual abuse and not having been abusers themselves.

Ordenes’ resignation as bishops from around the world met at the Vatican to discuss how to woo back lapsed Catholics in developed countries, where the Church is battling increasing secularism in places where it was once strong.

Many Catholics say they have left the Church in disgust over the sexual abuse scandals of the last 12 years.

(Reporting by Naomi O’Leary; Editing by Philip Pullella and Louise Ireland)

1 Response to Pope accepts resignation of Chilean bishop accused of abusing a minor

  1. Sylvia says:

    Another bishop.  More denials.  Well – denials that he is a paedophile and that his victims was a minor.

    Pathetic,  Disgusting. 

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