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Former head of suppressed community is vicar general of Paraguay diocese

March 14, 2014

The former head of a suppressed Pennsylvania religious community is now serving as vicar general of a Paraguayan diocese.

In 2005, Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton suppressed the Society of St. John-- which had been known for its promotion of the extraordinary form of the Mass, but also criticized for reports of lavish spending-- following accusations of sexual abuse against its founder, Father Carlos Urrutigoity. Bishop Martino’s predecessor, Bishop James Timlin, had suspended the priest’s faculties after a diocesan review board found an abuse allegation credible.

Father Urrutigoity was subsequently incardinated in the Diocese of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay and named a monsignor. The Pocono Record reported that “as of February 2014, Urrutigoity was promoted to vicar general.” A search of the diocesan website, however, found that he has served as vicar general since at least 2012.

Msgr. Urrutigoity is currently the diocese’s first vicar general; another former member of the Society, Msgr. Dominic Carey, is the second vicar general. In 2009, the diocese published a statement defending Msgr. Urrutigoity against “calumnies.”

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