Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a Los Angeles auxiliary bishop following an allegation of sexual misconduct with a child in the 1990s, officials said Wednesday.
Pasadena police recommended in 2002 that the man be charged with committing a lewd act on a child, but prosecutors declined to bring charges over a lack of evidence.
The current archbishop of Los Angeles said the archdiocese learned of the claim in 2005. The archdiocese forwarded the complaint to the Vatican office handling sex abuse cases.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith imposed precautionary measures against the man and a further investigation by the archdiocese’s independent review board found the allegation to be credible.
The 69-year-old has “consistently denied any wrongdoing.” The archdiocese said it had received no other allegations against the man.
The alleged misconduct occurred while the man was a parish priest in the 1990s and the claim was never directly brought to the archdiocese.
The resignation comes during a year in which the clerical abuse scandal has exploded anew.
Hours after the man’s resignation was announced, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said her office found 500 more Catholic clergy accused of sexually abusing children than the state’s archdioceses have publicly identified.
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