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Brazilian bishops’ conference: ‘heartfelt gratitude’ for work of prelate who resigned

July 08, 2016

The National Conference of Bishops of Brazil has issued a statement expressing its “heartfelt gratitude” for the episcopal ministry of an archbishop who resigned following an allegation of a relationship with an 18-year-old male.

The July 8 statement cited the prelate’s “pastoral solicitude” in the dioceses he led and in his leadership of committees of the bishops’ conference.

On July 6, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Archbishop Aldo di Cillo Pagotto, 66, from the governance of the Archdiocese of Paraíba. The prelate had denied the allegation and filed a defamation suit against the accuser.

Archbishop Pagotto was also under investigation by a local prosecutor for alleged “connivance” in the sexual exploitation of minors after he accepted seminarians and priests from other dioceses who were accused of sexual abuse. In 2015, following an apostolic visitation, he was forbidden to ordain new priests and deacons and accept seminarians and priests from other dioceses, according to media reports.

The statement from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil asked God to “bless and make fruitful the good seeds sown by him in the heart and in the life of those who had him as pastor,” and also extended prayers and best wishes to the apostolic administrator appointed to succeed him.

 
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