Latin America & Caribbean

Brazilian archbishop resigns after paedophile 'cover-up'

The Pope Image copyright AFP
Image caption The Pope will remove negligent bishops from their post

A Brazilian archbishop has resigned after being accused of covering up actions of paedophile priests in his diocese.

Pope Francis accepted Bishop Aldo di Cillo Pagotto's resignation.

In a statement (in Portuguese), Mr Pagotto said he had committed some "mistakes" while trying to give shamed bishops a second chance.

Last year he was investigated and barred from appointing priests in his home state of Paraiba.

Mr Pagotto was accused of letting priests into seminaries in his diocese that were rejected elsewhere for suspected paedophilia.

In his statement, he said: "I welcomed priests and seminarians with the intention of offering them new opportunities in life.

"Some were later suspected of committing serious wrongdoings... I made mistakes by trusting too much, with naive mercy."

Last month the Pope said bishops who had been negligent over sexual abuse allegations could be removed from office.

Mr Pagotto resigned under a portion of canon law that allows for early retirement for "grave cause or illness".

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