Pope replaces Santiago bishop after abuse cover-up claims

Pope replaces Santiago bishop after abuse cover-up claims
Pope Francis wears his glasses as he arrives in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican for a audience with students, family and teachers of the Barbarigo catholic school of Padua, Saturday, March 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has replaced Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati , the embattled archbishop of Santiago, Chile, after he became embroiled in the country’s spiraling sex abuse and cover-up scandal.

Francis on Saturday accepted Ezzati’s resignation and named a temporary replacement to govern Chile’s most important archdiocese: the current bishop of Copiapo, Monsignor Celestino Aos Braco.

The 77-year-old Ezzati had submitted his resignation two years ago when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 75. But Francis kept him on, and he became the flashpoint of abuse survivors’ ire for mishandling several cases of abuse.

Francis himself became embroiled in the scandal after initially discrediting victims during his 2018 trip to Chile.

After realizing his error, Francis summoned all Chile’s active bishops to the Vatican and strong-armed them to offer their resignations.