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Chilean Bishops submit their resignation to Pope Francis over sex-abuse cover up scandal

The en masse resignation takes pace after three days of Vatican meetings over sex-abuse scandal. File Photo.

The en masse resignation takes pace after three days of Vatican meetings over sex-abuse scandal. File Photo.

Vatican City, May 18 (RHC)-- Thirty-four Chilean bishops have offered their resignation to Pope Francis over allegations that they covered up clergy sex abuse scandals.

In a statement read out in a press conference, the bishops say all placed their mandates "in the hands of the Holy Father so that he may decide freely over each of us."

They also "ask forgiveness for the pain caused to the victims, to the pope, to God's people and to the country for our serious mistakes and omissions."

The unprecedented move follows three days of Vatican meetings over the scandal, ending Thursday, between the Chilean episcopal conference and the pope.

It was not immediately clear if the pope would accept all or any of the resignations from the prelates, who hold all the top jobs in Chile's Roman Catholic Church. 

A Church official said it was the first time the bishops of an entire country had offered to leave their posts in such a manner.

Edited by Jorge Ruiz Miyares
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