In the middle of a long-lasting scandal regarding cases of sexual abuse by the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has defrocked two more high-profile bishops, taking away their roles as priests.
Francisco Jose Cox Huneeus, archbishop emeritus of La Serena, member of the Institute of Schoenstatt Fathers, and Marco Antonio Ordenes Fernandez, bishop emeritus of Iquique, Chile, have both been ousted from the church as a result of “manifest abuse of minors.”
The Vatican made the announcement Saturday after Chilean President Sebastian Piñera’s visit to the Pope, in which they discussed the matter.
“We had a very good and honest meeting with Pope Francis. We talked about the difficult situation the church is going through in Chile at the moment,” Piñera told the press. “We share the hope that the church can be truly reborn and recover the love and closeness of the people of God.”
The statement says Pope Francis took the decision Thursday and declared it can’t be appealed.
Both former priests were already informed through their superiors, while it was also stated that Francisco Jose Cox Huneeus, surprisingly, will continue to be a member of the Institute of Schoenstatt Fathers.
After a meeting with the Pope earlier in 2018 in which they discussed the growing accusations of sexual abuse, 34 Chilean bishops offered their resignations.
Perhaps the most iconic case was that of Fernando Karadima, an 88-year-old priest who systematically used his position and networks to sexually abuse of minors over a period of many years.