Pope accepts resignation of Brazilian bishop Dias de Oliveira

Dias de Oliveira is under investigation for alleged extortion and cover-up of sexual abuse, Brazilian media reports.

    Pope Francis passed a new measure this month to oblige those who know about sex abuse in the Church to report it to their superiors [File: Yara Nardi/Reuters]
    Pope Francis passed a new measure this month to oblige those who know about sex abuse in the Church to report it to their superiors [File: Yara Nardi/Reuters]

    Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Brazilian bishop Vilson Dias de Oliveira, according to the Vatican.

    The Vatican did not explain in a statement on Friday what prompted the resignation of the bishop who, according to media reports in  Brazil , is under investigation for alleged extortion and cover-up of sexual abuse.

    In April, the bishop confessed to police he had taken $4,000 from parish funds for personal use, telling them he did so because he was having financial difficulties, according to reports.

    The Catholic Church has been rocked by a global clerical paedophilia scandal, with victims coming forward in countries ranging from Australia to Chile, Germany and the US.

    New decree

    Pope Francis passed a landmark new measure this month to oblige those who know about sexual abuse in the Church to report it to their superiors, in a move which could bring countless new cases to light.

    As a result of the decree, bishops will be held directly accountable for sexual abuse or covering it up.

    But crimes admitted during the sacrament of confession will remain exempt from the new church law.

    Survivors' groups have called for the Vatican to make reporting of suspected abuse to police mandatory - but The Vatican says church law cannot override local civil law.

    The unholy conspiracy

    101 East

    The unholy conspiracy

    SOURCE: News agencies