Pope John Paul II accepted the resignation for reasons of age of a North Carolina bishop who adopted a zero-tolerance policy for sex abuse in his diocese, the Vatican said Tuesday.
Monsignor William Curlin of the Diocese of Charlotte offered his resignation after he turned 75 last month.
The Vatican requires bishops to offer their resignation when they turn 75 and it is up to the pope to accept or ask the bishop to stay on.
No replacement was announced.
The sex scandal that has rocked the Roman Catholic Church in the United States and elsewhere has also affected the Diocese of Charlotte. At least five abuse cases have surfaced over the past months, some dating back to 25 years ago.
In April, the diocese also confirmed that in the 1990s it used its money and insurance funds to pay parents who accused a priest of sexually abusing their sons.
In a letter written earlier this year, Curlin declared zero tolerance for child abuse, saying that priests found guilty would be removed from their ministry and never again allowed back in his diocese.
He had the diocese’s 150 priests read the letter to their congregations.
The Diocese of Charlotte covers the western half of North Carolina.