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Puerto Rican archbishop resists Vatican pressure for resignation

May 10, 2013

Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves of San Juan, Puerto Rico, has declined to discuss reports that the Vatican has sought his resignation, after the public release of a letter in which he defended himself against Vatican criticism.

A Puerto Rican radio station has released the leaked text of a letter from Archbishop Gonzalez to Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. In the letter the archbishop says that he will not willingly step down, and denies the accuracy of complaints against him. The complaints reportedly included charges that the archbishop had protected priests from sex-abuse charges, interfered in local politics, and abused his power.

The archbishop told reporters that he would not comment on the matter, saying that “I’ll only deal with the Holy See on it.” But he did ask the faithful in Puerto Rico to pray that the truth would be revealed. Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, also declined to speak about the leaked letter.

Supporters of Archbishop Gonzalez charge that the charges against him are tinged by political interests. His critics, on the other hand, say that the archbishop, a strong supporter of Puerto Rican independence, has become overly involved in political affairs.

Cardinal Ouellet reportedly urged Archbishop Gonzalez to resign his post in Puerto Rico and seek another position in the Church.


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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Baseballbuddy - May. 10, 2013 9:47 PM ET USA

    Ta! True, it took a long time to take down the West Coast Cardinal but even the small(er) must fall when they abuse their office, sorry to say.

  • Posted by: Defender - May. 10, 2013 6:00 PM ET USA

    If he was a cardinal and on the west coast...