Hopefully, the law is finally catching up…

Hopefully, the law is finally catching up… June 6, 2014

with this vile priest.

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?

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  • Jared Clark

    So the bishop had major concerns about him but still promoted him?

    • Squiboda

      The bishop with the concerns is not the bishop who promoted him.

      • Jared Clark

        Okay, that makes more sense. Thanks!

  • Michaelus

    The diocese has a lengthy defense of this guy here:


    Perhaps someone with better Spanish capabilities could give us the gist of this

    • Francisco J Castellanos

      Whoa. Michaelus, it’s a long article and I’m tired, but there is a very big inconsistency between what the Bishop says and what the Diocese of Scranton says. The gist of it is that the Bishop of Ciudad del Este mounts a staunch and detailed defense of Fr. Urrutigoity. The Bishop (who is trained as a civil and a cannon lawyer) states that he carefully investigated all the allegations and that there were only “allegations” and that those allegations pretty much come from the same source (I think he implies some ultra-traditionalists) but that there was never any real, solid proof of this alleged behavior. The Bishop states that “there is not, nor there has ever been, any criminal proceedings initiated against Fr. Urrutigoity either by the civil authorities (in Pennsylvania) or the Church authorities” because all the accusations were found “without merit.”
      He actually states that two independent prosecutors or district attorneys in Pennsylvania investigated the accusations and found them without merit. He also states that the previous bishop of Scranton, Mons. James Timlin, had an independent investigation of these allegations and again found no concrete proof. The Bishop also states that Fr Urrutigoity was sent by the Scranton Diocese to The Southdown Institute in Canada for a detailed psychological evaluation and that they found no evidence of psychopathology and (contrary to what the article at The American Conservative stated) pretty much gave him a clean bill of health. Interestingly, Fr. U. was also evaluated by Fr. Benedict Groeschel in 2001 who basically stated the same.
      The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was also apparently involved at some point, and after reviewing the evidence it was sent declared that “no canonical delict occurred, and no penal judicial process can be initiated” The Bishop also mentions that there are a “very great” number of letters and testimonies from students, ex-students and parents defending, supporting and praising Fr.U . So whether Fr. U. is a persecuted victim of a heinous plot, or a clever sociopath in the mold of Maciel Marcial, only God knows, but there are always two (or more) sides to any story.
      IMHO, Christian Charity demands that we refrain from making quick judgments based only on second hand information when we do not have access to the primary sources (like the ACTUAL report of the Southdown Institute).

      • Dave P.

        I do know that one of the SSPX bishops wrote Bishop Timlin warning him about Fr. U. That in itself should be a warning sign.

  • petey

    i followed links.

    “Former Bishop Joseph Martino of the Diocese of Scranton allowed the Rev.
    Carlos Urrutigoity to transfer to a parish in the South American
    country of Paraguay after multiple witness statements in several court
    cases claimed that Urrutigoity routinely slept in bed with and had sex
    with boys in his care, calling it spiritual guidance.”

    Dreher “can’t for the life of me figure out why then-Bishop Martino of Scranton
    allowed the SSJ priests to scatter, given that he busted up their order
    over their alleged sexual shenanigans, and after a psychological
    evaluation by a Canadian hospital recommended that the Church return the
    disturbed Fr. Urrutigoity to private life. The Canadian evaluation

    view of the credible allegation from the seminarian (John Doe), his
    admitted practice of sleeping with boys and young men and the troubling
    evaluation by the Southdown Institute, Father Carlos Urrutigoity should
    be removed from active ministry; his faculties should be revoked; he
    should be asked to live privately.” ”

    well I can’t figure it out either. who bishops the bishops? (a real question with i’m sure a real CJC answer.)