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Pope accepts resignation of New York bishop after abuse claims

New York's Bishop John Jenik was suspended in 2018 pending a Church investigation into the alleged sexual assault in the 1980s.

FILE: Pope Francis presides the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday at St Peter’s Basilica on 19 April 2019 in the Vatican. Picture: AFP

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis officially accepted the resignation of New York's Bishop John Jenik on Thursday, who has been accused of sexually abusing a teenager.

Jenik was suspended in 2018 pending a Church investigation into the alleged assault, which reportedly took place in the 1980s while the American was pastor of a Bronx parish.

"Although the alleged incidents occurred decades ago, the Lay Review Board has concluded that the evidence is sufficient to find the allegation credible and substantiated," US Cardinal Timothy Dolan said at the time of the suspension.

The Vatican said Francis had accepted the 75-year-old's resignation, without providing any further details on the case.

Jenik has denied repeatedly molesting Michael Meenan between the ages of 13 and 17 during trips to his country house.