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Brazilian bishop resigns amid investigation

May 17, 2019

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Pope Francis accepted Friday the resignation of a Brazilian bishop who is under investigation by local authorities.

The Vatican announced the resignation of Bishop Vilson Dias de Oliveira and named Archbishop Orlando Brandes of Aparecida as a temporary replacement to run the Limeira diocese in Sao Paulo.

The Vatican did not provide details on why de Oliveira resigned, but at age 60, he is well below bishops’ usual retirement age of 75.

The statement included a letter, entitled “I feel small,” signed by the bishop.

“Dear brothers and sisters, in these last months we have faced all kinds of crosses, through attacks on our particular Church of Limeira, myself and several priests,” the letter read.

He did not, however, go into any details about why he was resigning.

The Sao Paulo prosecutor’s office confirmed the police’s investigations but did not comment further.

According to local news outlets, de Oliveira is investigated for extortion, illicit enrichment and the cover-up of alleged cases of sexual harassment.

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