Pope Francis continues to follow the high standard he has set for his fellow bishops by accepting the resignations of two further prelates. Accepting the resignations of bishops well before the age of mandatory retirement seems to be Vatican code that they were forced out of their positions. The reason given for both resignations is Article 2 canon 401 Section 2 of the code of Canon Law; “A diocesan 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.”
The bishop of the Diocese of Autlan in Mexico, Gonzalo Galvan Castillo, 64, was quietly removed by announcement in a Vatican bulletin dated 25 JUN. He had faced accusations that he had been protecting a priest, Horacio Lopez, who has been accused of sexual abuse. After a 24 year old man informed the bishop that Lopez had molested him when he was 11, Bishop Galvan Castillo refused to report Lopez to the police or to remove him from ministry. The bishop transferred Lopez to work in another parish. Lopez’s current location is unknown.
On 15 JUL the Vatican announced the resignation of Archbishop Antonio Carlos Altieri, 63, of the Archdiocese of Passo Fundo, Brazil. The Archbishop was hotly criticized for spending $600,000 on renovations to his home, the archdiocesan offices and the seminary soon after his appointment in 2012. Priests under his leadership also complained about a 10% assessment that he imposed on parish income (perhaps to pay for his extravagance) and that he freely accepted seminarians who had been dismissed from previous dioceses and religious orders.
Since his election, Francis has taken steps to hold bishops accountable for the sexual scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic Church and has called upon all clergy in the church to live humble lives marked by service and a simple life.