Controversial Brazilian bishop retires - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Controversial Brazilian bishop retires

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The Vatican has announced the retirement of a Brazilian archbishop who caused a major stir when he declared that those involved in an abortion for a 9-year-old rape victim were excommunicated.

The Vatican said Wednesday that Pope Benedict XVI had accepted the resignation submitted for reasons of age of 76-year-old Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho of Olinda and Recife.

The archbishop said in May that the mother and doctors of the girl were excommunicated. The church forbids abortion, and excommunication is considered automatic for those involved in an abortion.

Brazil's president sharply criticized the archbishop's decision and an influential Vatican prelate argued for a sense of "mercy" in such cases.

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