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Pope defrocks 2 former Chilean bishops for abusing minors

AFP  |  Vatican City 

has defrocked two Chilean former bishops for allegedly sexually abusing minors, the Vatican said on Saturday after a meeting between the pontiff and Chile's

The decision to expel former and former -- the latest heads to roll in a country hit hard by the abuse scandal -- is not open to appeal.

Both were stripped of their priesthood "as a consequence of overt acts of abuse against minors", it said.

The announcement came a day after the accepted the resignation of

Washington DC Donald Wuerl, who has been blamed for not doing enough to deal with paedophile priests.

Saturday's defrocking was "an extremely unusual, if not unprecedented" move, wrote Ines San Martin, a Vatican expert working for specialist Catholic website

Defrocking is considered the Church's harshest penalty for priests, barring the offender from exercising any clerical duties at all, even in private. Scores of new cases involving the abuse of minors by priests have come to light in Chile, deepening a crisis in the Roman that has also embroiled

On Saturday, met with Chilean at the Vatican for talks on the "difficult situation" in

They discussed "the painful scourge of abuse of minors, reiterating the effort of all in collaboration to combat and prevent the perpetration of such crimes and their concealment", the Vatican said.

The leaders "shared the hope that the church could live a true rebirth," Pinera said in a statement.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, October 14 2018. 00:45 IST