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Pope Accepts Resignation of 3 Chilean Bishops

Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Barros of Osorno

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of three Chilean bishops.

“We have placed our positions in the hands of the Holy Father so that he may freely decide with respect to each one of us,” the bishops of Chile had said in an unprecedented move, when they presented their resignation, May 18, 2018, in the Holy See, at the end of the meetings held with the Holy Father.

Announced by the Holy See Press Office today, June 11, 2018, in the daily bulletin, Pope Francis has accepted three resignations, including that of Bishop Barros of Osorno.

The announcement states:

“The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Osorno, Chile, presented by H.E. Msgr. Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid. The Pope has appointed as apostolic administrator sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of the diocese of Valparaíso, Chile, H.E. Msgr. Jorge Enrique Concha Cayuqueo, O.F.M., auxiliary bishop of Santiago, Chile.”

“The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Puerto Montt, Chile, presented by H.E. Msgr. Cristián Caro Cordero. The Pope has appointed as apostolic administrator sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of the archdiocese of Puerto Montt, Chile, the Rev. Fr. Ricardo Basilio Morales Galindo, O. de M., provincial of the Mercedarians in Chile.”

“The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Valparaíso, Chile, presented by H.E. Msgr. Gonzalo Duarte García de Cortázar, SS.CC. The Pope has appointed as apostolic administrator sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of the diocese of Valparaíso, Chile, H.E. Msgr. Pedro Mario Ossandón Buljevic, auxiliary bishop of Santiago, Chile.”

On May 18,  Monsignor Juan Ignacio González, Bishop of San Bernardo and Member of the Permanent Committee of the Episcopal Conference of Chile, and Bishop Fernando Ramos, Auxiliary Bishop of Santiago, and Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference of Chile, have presented the resignation declaration.

The 34 Chilean bishops met Pope Francis in Rome from May 15-17 to “examine in depth their causes and consequences, as well as the mechanisms that have led in some cases to their cover-up and serious omissions towards the victims,” reported the Holy See in a statement, published on May 12.

In the declaration, the Chilean prelates asked for forgiveness “for the pain caused to the victims, to the Pope, to the People of God and to the country for our grave errors and omissions” and thank Pope Francis “for his fatherly listening and fraternal correction.”

Likewise, the bishops thanked the victims “for their perseverance and courage, despite the enormous personal, spiritual, social and family difficulties they have had to face, so many times in the midst of incomprehension and attacks by the ecclesial community itself.”

Finally, the bishops of Chile stated: “All the bishops present in Rome have placed our positions in the hands of the Holy Father so that he freely decides with respect to each one of us.”

On May 17, Pope Francis wrote a letter  to the 34 bishops, after having four meetings with them in three days, to make a “frank discernment in the face of the grave events that have damaged the ecclesial communion and weakened the work of the Church of Chile in recent years,” explained the Holy Father.

The Pope told the bishops “to continue building a prophetic Church, which knows how to put in the center what is important: the service to its Lord in the hungry, in the prisoner, in the migrant, in the abused.”

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in four languages). She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, EWTN and Salt & Light. For 'The Other Francis': https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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