Pope Francis Defrocks Two More Bishops, Vatican Cites “Overwhelming Evidence” Of Sexual Abuse Of Minors

The Associated Press reports:

Pope Francis on Saturday defrocked two more Chilean bishops accused of sexually abusing minors, and to show greater transparency about how he’s responding to the church’s global sex abuse crisis, he publicly explained why they were removed.

The Vatican’s unusually detailed statement announcing the laicization of retired Archbishop Francisco Jose Cox Huneeus and retired Bishop Marco Antonio Ordenes Fernandez signaled a new degree of transparency following past missteps by Francis that showed he had grossly underestimated the gravity of the abuse scandal.

The statement said the two were defrocked for abusing minors with evidence so overwhelming that a canonical trial was unnecessary. The Vatican said the decision cannot be appealed.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

In 2009, Mr. Órdenes was accused of sexual abuse by a man who said he was 15 when it began in the late 1990s. In 2012, when the accusation became public, Mr. Órdenes acknowledged that he had a “reckless” relationship with the man, but denied that the accuser was a minor at the time, according to Chilean media.

Mr. Cox was accused by about a dozen people of abuse over decades, according to a layperson’s association in La Serena. Earlier this month, he refused to discuss the accusations when confronted by a Chilean television crew in Germany, where he now lives.

“We are going to do everything possible to extradite him, to condemn him here in Chile,” said Juan Rojas, a spokesman for the layperson’s organization.