Uruguayan Bishop Francisco Domingo
Barbosa Da Silveira has stepped down from his ministry amid a gay sex
scandal, reports the AFP.
Barbosa is alleged to have engaged in
gay sex with two men whom he hired late last year. Using a cell
phone camera, the two men filmed at least one of the encounters and
attempted to extort money from the bishop.
The allegations surfaced as the men
stood trial in an Uruguay courtroom after Barbosa sought relief from
the authorities, and pressed charges against the two men.
The diocese of Minas demanded his
resignation after the scandal surfaced.
Barbosa has since apologized for his
actions, and on Wednesday the Vatican accepted his resignation.
“The Holy Father accepted the
resignation from the pastoral governance of the diocese of Minas
submitted by Monsenor Francisco Domingo Barbosa Da Silveira,” the
Vatican said in a statement.
The Vatican accepted the bishop's
resignation under a Canon Law article that orders “A diocesan
Bishop who, because of illness or some other grave reason, has become
unsuited for the fulfillment of his office, is earnestly requested to
offer his resignation from office.”
Over the past year, Pope Benedict has
increased his attacks on being gay and gay rights, calling gay sex
“intrinsically evil,” and refusing to sign onto a United Nations
resolution that calls for the universal decriminalization of being
gay because he feared it would lead to more countries legalizing gay
marriage. The pope also drew criticism after he said condoms
were ineffective at curbing the transmission of HIV, the virus that