Read the entire article before you react.
(Reuters) - Pope Francis has dismissed a Paraguayan bishop accused of protecting a priest suspected of sexually abusing young people, the Vatican said on Thursday.
Vatican sources said the bishop had refused to resign after the investigation and reports of irregularities in his diocese and clashes between the conservative Livieres Plano and other bishops in the country. [The reporter makes it appear that the sacking is caused by two things one of them is Plano IS conservative.]
The Argentinian-born pontiff has vowed zero tolerance of clerics who abuse minors, after church scandals in several countries over many years. Last May, Francis called such abuse an "ugly crime" and likened it to "a Satanic mass".
The Ciudad del Este diocese said in a statement that accusations that he lacked unity with the other bishops of Paraguay were "unfounded" but that he would obey the pope's order. The diocese's statement did not mention the allegations that he had protected the priest accused of sexual abuse.
The Vatican's ambassador in Paraguay, Archbishop Eliseo Ariotti, told reporters in the capital Asuncion it would be up to the new administrator of the diocese to make decisions regarding the priest accused of sexual abuse.
Ariotti said that as part of the disciplinary procedure against Livieres Plano, the bishop would not be allowed to say mass in public but only in private.
According to reports in Catholic media while the Vatican investigation was in progress, Livieres Plano had promoted a priest accused of sexual abuse while serving in the United States.
Livieres Plano had defended both himself and the priest, saying the charges were unfounded, Catholic media have reported.
The bishop was a member of the conservative Roman Catholic group Opus Dei and often clashed with more liberal clerics, according to the reports.
The Vatican said Pope Francis had taken the "onerous decision" to remove Livieres Plano after careful examination of the results of the Vatican investigation.
SNAP, a U.S.-based victims' group which has often called on the Vatican to discipline bishops suspected of covering up abuse, said it was "encouraged" by the move. It said Livieres Plano had "protected and promoted a credibly accused sex offender cleric".
BishopAccountability.org, a U.S. resource center on sexual abuse in the church, called the move "bold" but said the Vatican should say if he had been "fired primarily because of his wanton disregard for the safety of young people" or because of his divisive behavior in his diocese. [They have a point.]
The dismissal of the Paraguayan bishop came two days after the pope approved the arrest in the Vatican of a former archbishop accused of paying for sex with children while he was a papal ambassador in the Dominican Republic.
Pray for our bishops. Stop making them into soap opera stars.
They are not.
They are pastors. And they must be pastoring, not crying on TV or talking in every retreat or forum.
So.....the pope is out to sack incompetent bishops or bishops who transfer erring priests, eh?
I have some dioceses in mind here in the Philippines.
Here in Metro Manila, we have......
It seems observers are seeing the deep reason for the "firing"
And the bishop does this.
Livieres was named bishop of Ciudad del Este in 2004 and immediately disturbed other more progressive bishops in Paraguay by opening his own seminary, following a more orthodox line than the main seminary in the capital, Asuncion. Paraguay's bishops are known for their progressive bent in a poor country where liberation theology found fertile ground.
Relations between Livieres and the rest of Paraguay's bishops worsened when he got into a public spat with the then-archbishop of Asuncion, whom he accused of being gay.
There was no reference in the Vatican statement that Livieres' removal had anything to do with Urrutigoity. [A priest accused of sex abuse but the bishop accepted in his diocese.] Rather, the Vatican spoke of the need to maintain unity among Paraguay's bishops, suggesting that political and ideological issues were of far greater concern to Rome and that Urrutigoity's past was a secondary factor.
As a result, the removal underscored the deep ideological shift in the Catholic Church with Francis in charge. Vatican watchers say it is highly unlikely that Pope Benedict XVI would have removed either Livieres or the "bling bishop," since both had strong supporters among the more conservative prelates in Rome who appreciated their firm orthodoxy in the face of opposition from more progressive parts of the church.
Urrutigoity had been a member of the schismatic, traditionalist Society of St. Pius X. After leaving the society, he joined the Scranton diocese, where he founded a priestly society where the pre-Vatican II old Latin Mass was celebrated. In 2004, Scranton Bishop Joseph Martino suppressed the society, citing financial instability and allegations of sexual misconduct against Urrutigoity.