Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Fr. Carlos Eugenio Irarrázaval Errazuriz as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Santiago de Chile.
The Chilean auxiliary bishop was appointed by Pope Francis less than a month ago.
Carlos Eugenio Irarrazaval was appointed by the pope in an effort to rebuild the church’s credibility following a pervasive sex abuse scandal that exposed hundreds of allegations now being investigated by Chilean criminal prosecutors.
The archdiocese of Santiago did not specify the reasons for Irarrazaval’s departure in its statement, but said the decision for Irarrázaval to resign “was the fruit of dialogue and joint discernment, in which Pope Francis valued the spirit of faith and humility of the priest, in favour of the unity and good of the Church that is a pilgrim in Chile.”
The bishop’s short tenure began with a television interview in May, in which he said there were no women seated at the table at the Last Supper and that “we have to respect that”. He also said that perhaps women “like to be in the back room”.
These controversial comments about the lack of women in attendance at the Last Supper, the role of women and the Jewish culture. sparked a backlash among women’s groups and critics of the church in Chile at a time when confidence in church leadership in the once staunchly Catholic nation has plummeted. Similar reactions were coming from the Jewish Community.
Irarrázaval apologized to the Jewish community at the end of May after he made some controversial statements in the interview with CNN Chile which took place on May 23.
Irarrázaval, 53, was named an auxiliary of Santiago May 22, and his episcopal consecration was scheduled to take place July 16. The June statement from the Santiago archdiocese said Irarrázaval will continue in his role as a parish priest at Sacred Heart of Jesus church in Providencia, an outer suburb of Santiago.