Pope acts fast to accept sex video bishop’s resignation


The Vatican’s mills usually grind slowly, but the Pope acted fast in accepting a Brazilian bishop’s resignation days after a sexually explicit video spread on social media.

The video featured someone resembling and purporting to be the bishop.

Sao Paulo’s Bishop Tomé Ferreira da Silva’s name has already been connected with a number of serious accusations. Among these are reports that he had been investigated by the Vatican for  allegedly ignoring reports of sexual abuse in his diocese.

Although the Vatican and the Church in Brazil have confirmed Ferreira’s resignation, they are tight-lipped as to whether he was the man in the video or what was behind his departure.

A local paper says Ferreira has confirmed it is his image, without providing further detail.

Although the Church isn’t speaking about investigations into Ferreira’s behaviour, the speed with which Francis accepted the bishop’s resignation after the video surfaced suggests that it was the final straw.

Although unconfirmed by the Church, media sources have pieced together a number of accusations muddying the bishop’s name that reach back several years.

In 2018 for example, Ferreira’s Sao Jose do Rio Preto diocese was the target of a Vatican investigation into whether he ignored reports of abuse, and had exchanged sexual messages with an adolescent. At the time, he cited personal reasons while stepping down as regional coordinator of the archdiocese, of which his diocese forms part, and where he remained bishop.

Earlier, in 2015, he was reportedly accused of taking a large amount of money from the church and giving it to his driver, with whom he allegedly had a romantic relationship. The Vatican reportedly launched an investigation at the time. He denied the claims.

News reports say the fact Ferreira had reportedly been previously investigated and left in his position, matches evidence cited repeatedly by survivors of clergy sexual abuse: that the Vatican for decades refused to take action against bishops accused of misconduct. Pope Francis’s decisive action in accepting Ferreira’s resignation indicates this is changing.


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