ROME: Colombian Bishop Carlos Prada Sanmiguel, who faces a lawsuit in Colombia for slandering a priest by saying he lived with a woman, has handed in his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican said Monday.
The pope has accepted the resignation of Prada Sanmiguel, bishop of Duitama-Sogamoso in central Colombia, under an article of the Church's Canon Law allowing for early dismissal of bishops, the Vatican said in a statement.
Colombian media reports said Prada Sanmiguel was being sued for slander by a priest in his diocese and had apparently been suspended from official duties.
The bishop reportedly told other clergymen that the priest was living with a woman and had fathered children with her. Prada Sanmiguel has refused to attend court hearings, saying it is a matter for the Church and not civil law.
He reportedly risks a prison sentence of between one and three years.