The archbishop and an auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis resigned on Monday amid charges the archdiocese failed to protect children from a sexually abusive priest.

Archbishop John Nienstedt and Bishop Lee Piché posted statements announcing their resignations on the archdiocese website. Pope Francis has accepted their resignations, Nienstedt’s statement and media reports said.

Earlier this month, prosecutors in Minnesota brought criminal charges against the archdiocese, accusing it of failing to protect children from a priest, Curtis Wehmeyer, who pleaded guilty in 2012 to sexual abuse and possession of child pornography.

Nienstedt said in his statement that he submitted his resignation “to give the archdiocese a new beginning amidst the many challenges we face.”

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