A Brazilian archbishop has resigned after he was accused of shielding sexually abusive priests.

Pope Francis on Wednesday accepted the resignation of the archbishop of Paraiba, Monsignor Aldo di Cillo Pagotto, under the article of canon law that allows bishops to retire early for "grave" reasons that make them unfit for office. Francis appointed an administrator to run the archdiocese until a replacement is found.

In a farewell letter, Pagotto admitted he had made mistakes and that he had accepted into the archdioceses priests and seminarians who had committed "serious errors." He blamed his own "merciful ingenuousness" and said he did so because he wanted to give them a second chance.

Francis recently issued new procedures to oust bishops who shield pedophiles, but they don't go into effect until September.