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Polish archbishop resigns after sex abuse coverup

Polish archbishop resigns after sex abuse coverup

WARSAW, Poland - Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a Polish archbishop accused of covering up the sexual abuse of minors, a Vatican statement said on Saturday.

Andrzej Dziega, the 71-year-old archbishop of Szczecin, in northwest Poland, will "take his retirement", said the statement from the apostolic nuncio or diplomatic envoy representing the Holy See.

Polish media have long reported allegations of negligence and cover ups for pedophiles in the Catholic Church.

The Gazeta Wyborcza website said the results of two internal ecclesiastic court trials had already been sent to Rome, marking a new stage in the pedophile cases that have rocked Poland.

Francis has made combatting sexual assault in the Church one of the main missions of his papacy, and insisted on a "zero tolerance" policy following multiple wide-reaching scandals.

Clergy and staff are required to report abuse, but anything revealed in confession is still considered private. Victims' rights activists demand better accountability. — Agence France-Presse