Irish-born bishop resigns, admits affair with young woman
May 31, 2010
An Irish-born archbishop serving in Nigeria has resigned after being accused of sexual abuse.
Archbishop Richard Burke stepped down from his post at the head of the Benin City, Nigeria archdiocese on March 31. He told the Irish Catholic that he resigned because "I have been unfaithful to my oath of celibacy." He admitted to having had a sexual affair, but insisted that the woman with whom he was involved had a consenting adult partner. The woman has charged that the affair began when she was 14-- a charge that the archbishop categorically denies.
A terse Vatican announcement disclosed only that Pope Benedict XVI had accepted Archbishop Burke's resignation "on accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law"-- which provides for the removal of a bishop who "because of illness or some other grave reason, has become unsuited for the fulfillment of his office."
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