03:25 GMT28 January 2021
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    ROME (Sputnik) - Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, the archbishop of Santiago, who has been accused of covering up sexual abuse within the church, the Vatican said in a statement on Saturday.

    "The Holy Father Francis has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Santiago de Chile, Chile, presented by His Eminence Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, S.D.B.," the Holy See press service said.

    The pope has named Bishop Celestino Braco of the Chilean city of Copiapo as the apostolic administrator who will run the Santiago archdiocese until a new archbishop is named to succeed Ezzati.

    Ezzati, 77, has been accused of covering up sexual abuse allegedly committed by Chilean Catholic clergy members. He denies wrongdoing.

    READ MORE: French Cardinal to Resign After Conviction of Failing to Report Child Abuse

    More than 100 Catholic clergy members in Chile are currently being investigated over the alleged sexual abuse of minors. The scandal erupted in 2011 after the Chilean Catholic church completed an investigation and found Father Fernando Karadima guilty of sexually abusing minors. The scandal has rocked the Catholic church and in September the pope called an unprecedented meeting in Rome, inviting bishops to discuss sexual misconduct in the church.

    READ MORE: Almost 400 Minors Were Abused by Polish Clergy Since 1990 — Catholic Church

    sex abuse, resignation, Vatican, Pope Francis
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