The previous Chilean archbishop dies earlier than being tried for abuse

The previous Chilean archbishop dies earlier than being tried for abuse

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A former archbishop in Chile charged with the sexual abuse of minors died before the trial.

Francisco José Cox, 86, died on Wednesday morning and was buried later that day in a private ceremony by four brothers from his congregation in Schoenstatt.

The community announced that Cox had died of "respiratory failure and multisystem failure".

The statement also noted that Cox "is under investigation for criminal charges," and the community added that they "share the victims' pain intensely and deeply".

Hernán Godoy, one of the lead complainants against Cox, told El Día newspaper that he was "very angry" when he heard the news of Cox's death.

Godoy said it was "restorative" to "see Cox and tell him anything in the face," adding that he regretted the slowness of the legal process.

Cox was Archbishop of the northern city of La Serena in the 1990s, after serving six years as the first bishop of the Central Diocese of Chillan and an additional nine years for the Papal Family Council of the Vatican.

Five years after a priest complained to the Chilean Bishops' Conference that Cox had homosexual relationships, in 1997 the bishop accepted his resignation from the Archdiocese of La Serena from the Vatican.

Then, in 2002, the Vatican removed Cox from the ministry and opened a formal investigation after complaints of sexual abuse against minors were filed against him. At the time, Cox said, "I ask forgiveness for this dark side of me that is against the gospel."

In 2018, the formal investigation was completed and on October 13th, Pope Francis lay secularized both Cox and Marco Antonio Ordenes Fernandez, the former Bishop of Iquique, who had also been charged with sexual abuse.

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