Rocco broke the news this morning, and now there’s more:
In a surprise move, B16 has accepted the early resignation of LA Auxiliary Gabino Zavala, who turned 60 last September.
While rumors of unspecified Vatican concerns over Zavala have circulated for some time, and have intensified over recent months, Catholic News Servicereported this morning via Twitter that the bishop’s resignation was accepted after he confessed to having fathered two children.
In a letter to the Los Angeles church, Archbishop José Gomez wrote that the auxiliary “informed [him] in early December that he is the father of two minor teenage children, who live with their mother in another state.”
Since submitting his resignation to Benedict shortly thereafter, Zavala “has not been in ministry and will be living privately,” the archbishop said.
Gomez added that the LA church will assist the teens with their college costs.
Ordained to assist Cardinal Roger Mahony at age 43 in 1994, the Mexican-born Zavala — until now the senior auxiliary of the nation’s largest diocese — had been in the final year of his term as Chair of Communications for the US bishops.
The longtime bishop-president of the Stateside branch of Pax Christi,he previously made national headlines for advocating a more progressive stance on church teaching in the public square during the 2008 elections, and a prominent speech that lambasted “blogs” that “engage in attacks and hurtful, judgmental language… assume the role of Magisterium and judge others in the church” during the 2010 Catholic Press Convention in New Orleans.
Reacting to the news, all one longtime friend of Zavala’s among the Angeleno crowd could say was, “I’m numb.”
The letter from Archbishop Gomez is at the link, along with more details.
I worked with Bishop Zavala when he chaired the USCCB’s Communications Committee. “Numb” about sums it up. He’s a kind, thoughtful, unfailingly joyful man. My prayers go out to him and those who love him.