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Cardinal Errazuriz confirms exit from Council of Cardinals

Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz (CNS)

On the same day, prosecutors announced he would be summoned to testify over allegations of abuse cover-up

Embattled Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz has said he is no longer a member of Pope Francis’s Council of Cardinals, having finished his five-year term in office.

He made the remarks just as a local prosecutor announced he was summoning him to testify over allegations of abuse cover-up.

The retired Archbishop of Santiago, who is 85, told Radio Cooperativa that he had travelled to Rome to “say goodbye to the Pope and to thank him for the job he entrusted us with”.

He said he also wanted to thank Francis for appointing him to the council even though he was already over 80 years of age. “The exception was an unexpected sign of appreciation, and he received me cordially, radiating a lot of peace,” the cardinal said.

He stressed he had not resigned, but had merely come to the end of the period of his appointment. The news was first reported in English by Crux.

Meanwhile, Sergio Moya, the chief prosecutor in the region of Rancagua, confirmed the cardinal would be summoned to testify for allegedly covering up the actions of Fr Jorge Laplagne, who is accused of child sexual abuse.

The Council of Cardinals was created in September 2013 with the purpose of advising Pope Francis on the reform of the Roman Curia.