(ANSA) – Chilean Catholic bishop Francisco José Cox, who had his clerical status revoked by Pope Francis in October 2018 due to accusations of pedophilia, died in the early hours of Wednesday (12), aged 86.
According to a statement from the Schoenstatt Fathers Secular Institute, of which Cox was a member, he died of respiratory failure. The Chilean was archbishop of La Serena, 440 kilometers north of Santiago, between 1990 and 1997, after being secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family in the 1980s.
A member of the Chilean oligarchy, Cox was accused of sexual abuse against minors and, according to one of the victims, had the nickname “Michael Jackson” because he was always surrounded by children. “One day I opened the door [de seu escritório] and he was kissing a boy. The boy was shirtless, and he was touching him, it was shocking, ”Hernán Godoy told the Chilean court.
The removal of the clerical state meant, in practice, his leaving the clergy, but the ordination of a priest cannot be undone. Cox’s lawyer Christian Urquieta said the funeral will take place privately and in compliance with the restrictions resulting from the new coronavirus pandemic. (ANSA)