Pope Francis replaces bishop after leaked video shows him semi-naked with another man

Pope Francis looks on with his hand over his face

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a Brazillian bishop who quit after a video surfaced of him semi-naked with another man.

Tomé Ferreira da Silva, formerly bishop of the Diocese of São José do Rio Preto, had acknowledged that a minute-long video leaked onto social media was of him.

The footage began with a photograph of the 60-year-old wearing a mitre, with a caption naming him. It then reportedly cut to a recording of him on a video call with another man.

He can be seen wearing a striped jumper in the video, according to Diário Da Região.

Da Silva declined to comment on the content of the clip when pressed by the news outlet. In response, he said he would be seeking guidance from his attorney and the Civil Police, Brazil’s state police force, believing it was leaked by “someone I live with”.

Pope Francis accepts resignation of bishop caught semi-nude with a man

Tomé Ferreira da Silva has now been replaced by Moacir Silva, archbishop of Ribeirão Preto, according to a news release issued by the National Conference of the Bishops of Brazil Wednesday (18 August) later sent out by the Vatican’s news service.

“The Apostolic Nunciature informs that the Holy Father accepted the request today of resignation from the pastoral government of the Diocese of São José do Rio Preto, presented by His Excellency,” the statement says.

“D Tomé Ferreira da Silva, naming at the same time as Apostolic Administrator the Hon Mr D Moacir Silva, Archbishop of Ribeirão Preto.”

Nearly eight years after Pope Francis famously responded “Who am I to judge?” on the issue of queer Catholics, both church and pontiff have failed to wholly embrace the LGBT+ community, sparking confusion and frustration.


Pope Francis has sent mixed messages about his views on LGBT+ rights. (Alessandra Benedetti – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

Pope Francis appeared to express support for same-sex civil unions in a 2020 documentary. However, the sentiment was blunted by Vatican officials, who stressed that his comment was taken out of context and did not change church doctrine. It was nevertheless a massive break from his predecessors.

In March, disappointment spread when the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the church’s top doctrinal office, forbade priests altogether from holding same-sex unions.

“Negative,” Vatican officials said in the note in response to whether the church has the power to bless same-sex unions, “[God] does not and cannot bless sin.”

The Pope approved of the message.