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Brazil bishop resigns amid sex scandal

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published Aug 19, 2021 1:01 pm

Pope Francis accepted a Brazilian bishop's resignation Wednesday amid a scandal over a leaked sex tape and allegations he covered up cases of sexual abuse by priests in his diocese.

The pope "accepted the resignation presented by Monsignor Tome Ferreira da Silva of the Diocese of Sao Jose do Rio Preto" in southeastern Brazil, the Vatican said in a statement.

It did not give a reason for the departure of the 60-year-old bishop, who had been in the post since 2012.

According to Brazilian media reports, Ferreira da Silva tendered his resignation after a video circulated on social media of him undressing and caressing his genitals while talking with the person filming.

The cleric was also ensnared in a scandal in 2018 when Brazilian media reported the Vatican had opened an investigation into allegations he attempted to cover up sexual abuse by priests working under him.

Brazil, home to the world's largest Roman Catholic population, has seen relatively few of the sex abuse scandals that have damaged the Church's image.

However, there have been notable exceptions.

In January, police said they were investigating Archbishop Alberto Taveira Correa of the northern city of Belem for alleged sexual abuse against underage seminary students.

And in May 2019, Bishop Vilson Dias de Oliveira of the southern city of Limeira resigned amid allegations of embezzling Church funds and covering up sexual abuse by a priest. (AFP)