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Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the archbishop of Santiago

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of one of Chile's top cardinals on Saturday.

The 77-year-old Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati who was the archbishop of Santiago, Chile's most important archdiocese, was accused of covering up the sexual abuse of Catholic church members and discrediting victims. Ezzati, archbishop of Santiago, is the seventh senior Chilean church official to resign over a scandal which the pope insists must be remedied. Ezzati had submitted his resignation two years ago. It was accepted now. The scandal involving Ezzati goes back to 2010.

Archipishop-Ezzati
Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, the archbishop of Santiago

After Vatican investigators produced a 2,300-page report alleging the cover-up of abuse claims in Chile, Pope Francis said investigators were "overwhelmed by the pain of so many victims." The Vatican announcement came a day after an appeals court in Chile allowed prosecutors to continue investigating Cardinal Ezzati. Francis has named Monsignor Celestino Aos Braco as a temporary replacement for Ezzati. Cardinal Ezzati has denied covering up any cases but has acknowledged the pain of victims and vowed to promote transparency. Ezzati was made a bishop by Pope John Paul II in 1996. He served as the bishop for Santiago from 2010, and four years later Pope Francis made him a cardinal. The pontiff stated last month that “no abuse must ever be covered up, as has happened in the past” as the Church struggles to restore trust in its efforts to fight child abuse.

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