In March, the nonprofit group BishopAccountability.org, which specializes in tracking problem priests, announced on its website that not only was Urrutigoity active in the Catholic church in Paraguay, but he had been promoted to the position of vicar general, essentially the second most powerful post in the diocese of Ciudad del Este.
The new bishop of Scranton rushed to defend his diocese and distance it from Urrutigoity.
In a March 15 statement on the diocese website, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera wrote that the diocese had previously “reported its serious concerns about this cleric to appropriate church officials.”
“In every instance, Bishop Martino clearly expressed his reservations concerning Father Urrutigoity, who was identified as posing a serious threat to young people,” Bambera wrote.Shortly afterward, Bambera announced he was taking his concerns to the Vatican. A diocese spokesman confirmed the bishop has contacted the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a sort of internal affairs for the Catholic Church, about Urrutigoity.
GlobalPost’s email to the Vatican press office requesting comment has not received a response.
Last week, Pope Francis announced he will meet with eight sexual abuse victims, several from Europe, at the Vatican as part of the church’s “zero tolerance” policy. Sexual abuse scandals around the world have dogged the church in the past two decades.
Clohessy, the director of SNAP, said a lack of action on Urrutigoity at this point would be reprehensible.
There’s no particular reason I can see that Francis should have heard of this guy till now. But if the sound and fury in the Spanish-speaking press are as loud as in English-speaking press, my guess is the story now has his attention. If ever one of those legendary “Vatican crackdowns” would be good, now’s the time. This creep should never have been allowed into a church in Paraguay, much less made vicar general. He should be arrested and his bishop should be chastised, publicly, for promoting him. What is wrong with these people?