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Paraguay: diocese defends bishop, says Cardinal Ratzinger recommended accused priest

Catholic World News - August 01, 2014

The Diocese of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, has published an aggressive defense of the leadership of Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano, claiming that a priest who had been accused of abuse in the US was placed in ministry on the recommendation of then-Cardinal Ratzinger.

Bishop Livieres incardinated Father Carlos Urrutigoity, who had been accused of sexual abuse in Pennsylvania, into his diocese in 2005. The diocese stated that the priest “came recommended by some cardinals with functions in the Holy See (one of them, elected a few days later Successor of Peter).” 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 Urrutigoity. Bishop Martino’s predecessor, Bishop James Timlin, had suspended Father Urrutigoity’s faculties after a diocesan review board found an abuse allegation credible. In defending Bishop Livieres, the Paraguayan diocesan website stated:

The diocese also stated that since 2004, the number of priests has risen from 79 to 140, even though 51% of aspirants to the seminary are not admitted. The number of baptisms rose from 9,543 (2004) to 21,556 (2013). “The growth and strength of the people of God in Paraguay were cruelly mutilated” by the suppression of the Jesuit missionaries in the late 18th century, the diocesan statement concluded. “Those who are betting that history will repeat itself now in our diocese” may encounter the “surprise of discovering that, this time, the Bishop of Rome is an heir to those Jesuits calumniated and suppressed.”

The strong defense of Bishop Livieres comes as the diocese awaits the final result of a Vatican-ordered investigation led by Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello. The cardinal advised Bishop Livieres immediately to suspend priestly ordinations in the diocese; he is now making a full report of his findings to Pope Francis, who will determine any further action.

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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Defender - Aug. 01, 2014 11:24 AM ET USA

    When I see things like this, "...but of an action involving an adult," it seems clear that even the Vatican turns a blind eye to homosexuality within the ranks.

  • Posted by: 1Jn416 - Aug. 01, 2014 10:33 AM ET USA

    It looks as if the bishop may be attempting to defend himself by throwing Pope Benedict under the bus while simultaneously ingratiating himself to Pope Francis. Does anyone think that will go well for him?

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