Bishops in synod auditorium © Paul Haring (CBA)
Almost 20 years ago, Francisco Cox Huneeus had to leave his home bishopric – he was accused of "inappropriate behavior". For many years he lived in Germany while being investigated in Chile.
Former Chilean archbishop and religious Francisco Cox Huneeus, who lived in Germany until 2019, has died. He died Wednesday (local time) at 86 of organ failure in his home country, according to the Schoenstatt community. Cox was investigated in Chile for sexual abuse. He had already been suffering from senile dementia, prostate cancer and diabetes for some time.
Dismissed from clergy in 2018
Cox, archbishop in La Serena, Chile, from 1990 to 1997, was dismissed from the clergy by Pope Francis in 2018 for sexual abuse. In 1997, he resigned from his post at age 63, with no reason given by church leaders; usually Catholic bishops don't offer to resign until age 75.
Since 2002, Cox had lived at the Schoenstatt Movement's headquarters in Vallendar near Koblenz, Germany. The then Archbishop of Santiago, Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz, justified the departure with an "inappropriate behavior" of the clergyman. Chile investigation now closed with Cox's death.