Pope Francis on Wednesday accepted the resignation of Monsignor Alexander Salazar, a Los Angeles auxiliary bishop who was accused of misconduct with a minor in the 1990s. The Associated Press reports that the current archbishop of the diocese, Jose Gomez, said that the archdiocese knew of the claim as early as 2005. Prosecutors declined to bring charges against Salazar, he added, but the case was passed on to the Vatican, which conducted its own investigation and found it to be credible. The Washington Post reports that the Vatican “permitted Bishop Salazar to remain in ministry subject to certain precautionary conditions, which he has respected.” As a result, Salazar remained in his role until the Vatican’s Wednesday announcement, which was a simple one-line statement that did not address the allegation.
Gomez released a longer statement, in which he noted that Salazar has “consistently denied any wrongdoing,” but stressed the importance of caring for his alleged victims. “These decisions have been made out of deep concern for the healing and reconciliation of abuse victims and for the good of the church’s mission,” he wrote. “Let us continue to stay close to the victim survivors of abuse, through our prayer and our actions.”