Pope Francis speaks as he meets with Chile's President Sebastian Pinera and his wife Cecilia Morel during a private audience at the Vatican, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. (Alessandro Bianchi/Pool Photo via AP)

Pope defrocks 2 Chilean priests accused of sex abuse

October 13, 2018 - 8:09 am

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has defrocked two more Chilean prelates accused of sexually abusing minors, and in a move aimed at showing greater transparency about how he is responding to the global abuse crisis, he publicly explained how and why they were removed.

The Vatican issued an unusually detailed statement Saturday announcing the laicization of Jose Cox Huneeus and Marco Antonio Ordenes Fernandez, the latest removals as Chile's church is called to account for decades of abuse and cover-up.

The statement made clear the two were defrocked for abusing minors with evidence so overwhelming that a canonical trial was unnecessary. The level of clarity suggests a new degree of transparency as Francis struggles to overcome past missteps that appeared to underestimate the gravity of the scandal.

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