Resignation cases usually heard by Pope
ANY cardinal wishing to relinquish their role in the Catholic Church would have to proffer their resignation to the Pope.
The cleric usually travels to the Vatican for a face-to-face with the pontiff.
The resignation is then either accepted, or in some cases it is rejected by the Vatican and the cleric is encouraged to stay on in their post.
For example, a decade ago the late Pope John Paul II accepted the resignation of the embattled Boston cardinal Bernard Law in the wake of the church's ongoing sex abuse scandal. He met for a short time face-to-face with the Pope in the Papal Library.
In 2010, victims of clerical abuse were critical after Pope Benedict refused to accept the resignations of two bishops -- Bishops Eamonn Walsh and Raymond Field -- who were named in the Murphy report into the handling of clerical child sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Dublin.
The resignation of Bishop Jim Moriarty of Kildare and Leighlin following the report was accepted, as was the resignation of the Bishop of Limerick, Dr Donal Murray.