Pope replaces Australian bishop in alleged misconduct probe

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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has replaced an Australian bishop who stepped down amid a Vatican investigation into what Australian media have described as allegations of sexual misconduct. The Vatican said Saturday that Francis accepted Bishop Christopher Alan Saunders’ resignation as head of the Broome diocese. Francis on Saturday appointed another bishop to temporarily administer the sprawling diocese in western Australia. The Vatican didn’t cite a reason for replacing Saunders. At 71 years old, he is four years younger than the age when the Vatican requires bishops to offer their resignations to the pontiff. Australian media have quoted Saunders as strongly denying any wrongdoing and voluntarily offering to step aside.

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