Bishops’ resignations accepted

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of two Latin American bishops more than a decade ahead of their canonical retirement ages.

Clergy in Passo Fundo, Brazil, had criticised Archbishop Antonio Carlos Altieri, 63, for spending €550,000 on renovations to his home and offices, introducing a 10% diocesan “assessment” on parish income, and accepting seminarians who left other dioceses and religious orders. His resignation was accepted after an apostolic visitation from Cardinal Claudio Hummes.

Dr Altieri’s resignation follows the resignation of Mexico’s Bishop Gonzalo Galvan Castillo of Autlan, 64, who is accused of having protected a priest accused of sexual abuse.

Both resignations took place under canon 401.2, which says a bishop “who has become less able to fulfill his office because of ill health or some other grave cause is earnestly requested to present his resignation from office”.