Pope dismisses Colombian bishop accused of slandering priest

Pope Benedict XVI waves from the window of his private apartments as he appears to lead the Angelus prayer at the Vatican October 14, 2012. REUTERS/Max Rossi

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.



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