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Tuesday
Jul192011

Pope Accepts Resignation of Philadelphia Archbishop

Jeff Fusco/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Philadelphia archbishop Justin Rigali, whose archdiocese has been under the cloud of a sex abuse controversy for years.

Rigali was accused by a grand jury of covering up sex abuse complaints against dozens of Philadelphia priests. He spoke of the controversy last March, saying “I personally renew my deepest sorrow to the victims of sexual abuse in the community of the church.”

The Vatican says his resignation is due to age, but Rocco Palmo, author of a Catholic blog, says the appointment of conservative Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput as Rigali's replacement sends a message: “It would be an indicator from Rome that they want a thorough housecleaning.”

Rigali submitted his resignation last year when he turned 75, as required by church law.

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