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Brazilian archbishop at center of abortion dispute steps down at age 76

July 01, 2009

The Brazilian archbishop at the center of a heated international controversy over an abortion procured for a 9-year-old girl has resigned his office. The Vatican announced on July 1 that Pope Benedict had accepted the resignation of Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho of Olinda and Recife-- who, at the age of 76, was already a year beyond the normative retirement age. He will be replaced by Bishop Fernando Antonio Saburido, the current head of the Sobral diocese.

Archbishop Cardoso had complained that his treatment of the abortion case had been misrepresented by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, and he resented the criticism voiced by Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life. He had asked for an apology and correction of the record-- which he did not receive.


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