Pope Francis Gives Two More Bishops the Boot

via David Gibson

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a Mexican bishop who reportedly shielded a priest accused of sexually molesting an 11-year-old boy, and on Wednesday the Vatican announced that a Brazilian archbishop who spent $600,000 on renovations to his home and offices had been dismissed.

The moves are the latest signs that Francis is pursuing a hierarchical housecleaning that aims to address the heart of the clergy sex abuse scandal — accountability for bishops — while also removing prelates who don’t reflect the humble and simple lifestyle he says is key to promoting the Gospel.

Both Bishop Gonzalo Galvan Castillo, 64, of the Diocese of Autlan in Mexico, and Archbishop Antonio Carlos Altieri, 63, of the Archdiocese of Passo Fundo, Brazil, were well under the canonical retirement age of 75.

They both also resigned under the canon law that 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.”

That is the statute that is usually cited when a bishop has been forced to step down by Rome because of a scandal.