Pope Francis accepts resignation of Dominican Republic auxiliary bishop — By: Catholic News Agency

Pope Francis on March 18, 2024, accepted the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Ramón Benito Ángeles Fernández of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. / Credit: Archdiocese of Santo Domingo

ACI Prensa Staff, Mar 18, 2024 / 17:30 pm (CNA).

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of an auxiliary bishop of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, Ramón Benito Ángeles Fernández, who turned 75 on March 17. In February the archdiocese denied that he was under investigation for the alleged abuse of a minor in 1994, as the Infovaticana website had reported.

“The Holy Father has accepted the resignation of the position of auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) presented by H.E. Ramón Benito Ángeles Fernández, titular bishop of Febiana,” the Vatican Press Office reported March 18 without giving further details about Pope Francis’ decision.

The pontiff accepted the prelate’s resignation just one day after his 75th birthday, the age at which bishops present their letter of resignation, after which the pope decides whether to accept it or not, in accordance with the provisions of Canon 401 of the Code of Canon Law.

The Archdiocese of Santo Domingo stated in a brief announcement on Facebook that “in the Code of Canon Law every bishop is asked to present his resignation from the office entrusted to him upon reaching 75 years of age.”

In an article published March 18, Infovaticana noted that the pope accepted the resignation “as was foreseeable,” having been “given only one day’s extension.”

In its Feb. 16 statement, the Archdiocese of Santo Domingo said: “We have no evidence about the alleged investigation, originally published by a digital media outlet in Spain, which does not belong to any ecclesial body.”

“We understand that the aforementioned publication seeks to damage the reputation of Bishop Benito Ángeles and our Church,” the archdiocese noted.

Consulted that same day by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, the apostolic nunciature in the Dominican Republic said that the current nuncio, Archbishop Piergiorgio Bertoldi, who has held the position since mid-2023, “does not have information” on the issue and that the inquiry should be directed to the Archdiocese of Santo Domingo, whose statement has been the only response to the Infovaticana claim.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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