A Brazilian bishop resigned days after a video that featured someone, purported to be him, masturbating leaked online.
On Wednesday, August 18, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Tomé Ferreira da Silva, who oversaw a diocese in Sao Paulo state, Sao Jose do Rio Preto.
According to reports, Bishop Tome had been under investigation by the Vatican for other accusations, including allegedly ignoring reports of sexual abuse in his diocese since 2015.
The Vatican, the Brazilian bishops’ conference, and Ferreira’s home diocese all announced the resignation but provided no details if the bishop was the man in the video.
The person in the video resembles Ferreira, and local paper Diario da Regiao reported that in a short interview Ferreira confirmed it is his image, without providing further detail.
Local news network Globo reported in 2018 that the Sao Jose do Rio Preto diocese was the target of a Vatican investigation into whether Ferreira ignored reports of abuse, and had exchanged sexual messages with an adolescent.
At the time, he cited personal reasons while stepping down as regional coordinator of the Ribeirao Preto archdiocese, of which Sao Jose do Rio Preto forms part, and where he remained bishop.
In 2015, he was reportedly accused of taking a large amount of money from the church and giving it to his driver, with whom he allegedly had a romantic relationship.
The Vatican reportedly launched an investigation at the time, and he denied the claims.
The pope on Wednesday named as his temporary replacement Archbishop Moacir Silva of Ribeirao Preto.
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