Argentine Archbishop Offers Resignation

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 26, 2002 ( Argentine Archbishop Edgardo Gabriel Storni of Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz, in the wake of accusations against him, announced that he handed in his resignation to the Pope.

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In a letter faxed from Rome on Tuesday, Archbishop Storni said his resignation “in no way means that I acknowledge faults or accept accusations.”

“On the contrary,” he said. “At peace with my conscience, I reject all charges. Knowing that no one and nothing — not even my own conscience — can judge me. My judge is the Lord.”

Archbishop Storni has become the target of media attacks, accusing him of sexual harassment of seminarians in 1994. The accusations are based on a book by journalist Olga Wornat.

“In face of the unstoppable maneuvers against archdiocesan persons and institutions, perplexity grips all, at all levels. No one knows what to do, not even here,” the archbishop said.

“Having prayed, I have come to the conclusion that only I, as pastor, must assume this very grave moment and break this infernal circle,” he concluded.

John Paul II has not yet accepted the archbishop’s resignation.

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