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Bishop Resigns After He Acknowledges Fathering Two Children

A Catholic bishop in California has resigned his post after revealing in December that he has two children.

"The Vatican announced the bishop's resignation Jan. 4 in a one-line statement that cited church law on resignation for illness or other serious reasons," reports the Catholic News Service from Vatican City.

Pope Benedict reportedly accepted the resignation of Gabino Zavala, an auxiliary bishop for the San Gabriel Pastoral Region, in December.

CNS published the contents of a letter that Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez sent to his parishioners, in which he provides more details about the circumstances of Zavala's resignation.

In the letter, dated Jan. 4, Gomez states that Zavala "informed me in early December that he is the father of two minor teenage children, who live with their mother in another state."

Gomez goes on to say that after Zavala submitted his resignation, he left the ministry. And Gomez says that Zavala's children have his support.

"The archdiocese has reached out to the mother and children to provide spiritual care as well as funding to assist the children with college costs," he wrote. "The family's identity is not known to the public, and I wish to respect their right to privacy."

The BBC reports, "Bishop Zavala is 60 and was born in Mexico. He has campaigned against the death penalty and for immigrants' rights."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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