Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pope Francis Suspends Bishop Lovieres -- Intrigue Against Faithful Bishop Continues

Bishop Lovieres Suspended
Edit: basically, if the Pope himself were held to these standards, he would have to suspend himself.  

Of course, the media, and ambulance chasing, political activist attorneys love him too much to bring him down.

(Asuncion) Pope Francis has dismissed  Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay today. At the same time, he has appointed Bishop Ricardo Jorge Valenzuela Ríos of Villarrica del Espiritu Santo as Apostolic Administrator of the vacant episcopal chair.
The decision had already been signed off last summer, when the attention of Pope Francis  fell obtrusively upon  the Latin American Diocese and an Apostolic Visitor was sent.
After completion of the Visitation, soothing and friendly explanations of the transferees were indeed given, but whoever knows internal church practices, already feared the peace before the storm.
In a statement, the Vatican press office states:
After a careful examination of the findings of the Apostolic Visitations made ​​to the Bishop, dioceses and seminaries of Ciudad del Este, by the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for the Clergy, the Holy Father has proceeded with the replacement of Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano. He has appointed Ricardo Jorge Valenzuela Ríos, Bishop of Villarrica del Espíritu Santo, as Apostolic Adminostrator of the now vacant diocese.
The grave decision taken by the Holy See, under the weight of serious pastoral concerns, is for the greater good and unity of the Church of Ciudad del Este and episcopal communion in Paraguay.
The Holy Father, in the exercise of his ministry as "the perpetual and visible principle and foundation of unity of both the bishops and of the faithful" (LG 23) calls for the clergy and the entire people of God of Ciudad del Este to accept the Holy See’s decision with the spirit of obedience, docility and an open heart, guided by faith.
Moreover, he invites the entire Church of Paraguay, led by its pastors, to a serious process of reconciliation and to overcome any factionalism and discord, so that the face of the one Church "purchased with the blood of his own Son" is not wounded and the "flock of Christ" is not deprived of the joy of the Gospel (cf. Acts 20: 28).
The serious decision of the Holy See, judiciously because of serious pastoral reflections is governed by the higher good of the unity of the Church of Ciudad del Este and the Episcopal Community of Paraguay.

The combined Vatican statement in understandable words

Bishop Livieres celebrates Old Rite
The Vatican statement must be translated into understandable words: faithful bishops disturb the "communion of bishops" and will continue in the name of an ominous "peace"  be sent into the desert.  Msgr. Ricardo Jorge Valenzuela Ríos, Bishop of Villarrica del Espiritu Santo, who is appointed by the Pope, is one of the most liberal bishops of Paraguay, as the Apostolic Administrator. An additional slap in the face.
The faithful Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano constituted an exception among Latin American diocesan bishops. Within a few years his Diocese of Ciudad del Este had flowered. In almost every parish of the Diocese  the Holy Mass is celebrated in the Old Rite. The seminary of the diocese has more than 200 seminarians, more than the seminaries of all other dioceses in Paraguay together.  Bishop Livieres was thus among the bishops what  the Franciscans of the Immaculate were among  the Orders. He showed that faithfulness in doctrine and liturgy brings great blessing. He became a bone of contention for the other bishops, who had very different "track records" to show.  Large archdioceses such as Buenos Aires and Montevideo have less than 30 seminarians (see report Latin Mass Boom in Paraguay - Causes Pope Francis to arrange visitation ). "That explains why the development in the Diocese of Ciudad del Este was interfered with by progressive parts of the Church," said Messa in Latino.

Bishop Livieres: Annoyed by Tradition and the Old Rite

Visitor Cardinal Abril and assistant in Ciudad del Este
Bishop Livieras also did something  else that did the Franciscans of the Immaculate did, they lifted up their voice, equally among the others. However, a voice that was heard outside of the choir.
Now he is the victim of an intrigue which was quickly threaded together. The scattering of some unsubstantiated rumors, and the denunciations in Rome, which conspired to send a visitation.  The diocese refuted the rumors disseminated point by point in a detailed dossier. Bishop Livieres saw through the game quickly, and named the Archbishop of Asuncion Msgr. Eustaquio Pastor Cuquejo Verga as one of the main schemers, which he did publicly in a speech at the March for Life, where he accused him ofb "homosexuality"  and complained that he had still not been removed from office . [Of course, this happens all the time, but bishops rarely say anything in public.]

Visitation Ordered by Pope

Bishop Livieres indictment that he openly raised  and not in the form of a denunciation, as his opponents  characterize it  had totally different kinds of consequences. Pope Francis sent a Visitor from 21-26th July, not to Asuncion, but to Ciudad del Este. The Episcopal Conference of Paraguay announced the impending visitation with obvious satisfaction at a specially convened press conference, of course, without  Bishop Livieres knowing about it.
If the impression  is awakened in the Vatican statement that the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for the Clergy had separately or even independently performed "visitations", this is not true. There was only one visitation and it was decided by Pope Francis personally. He also sent for the Visitor, Cardinal Santos Abril, Archpriest of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. Cardinal Abril, served from 2000-2003 as nuncio in Argentina and has been a close friend of Pope Francis (see report Pope suspended Ordinations in the Diocese of Ciudad del Este - A Deja-vu? ).

Believers demonstrate for Bishop Livieres

Catholic Tragedy

In Ciudad del Este is an oft repeated  Catholic tragedy,  one which has been experienced  the last 25 years  several times in the German language area. The attacks and intrigues were not always, but too often, successful. Not only bishops were deposed. In Austria a revolt of the progressive clergy and full-time employees of the Church,  rose up and put fraternal pressure and the interacted with the religion-hostile media already to prevent the consecration and inauguration of a bishop who'd just been  appointed.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Eco Ciudad del Este / Diocesis de Ciudad del Este
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches...


Savonarola said...

I trust supporters of the Opus Dei bishop will likewise support Professor Tina Beattie, a faithful Catholic, who has been banned from speaking in the diocese of St. Andrew's at the behest of the Vatican. The unjust exercise of authority is unjust whomever it is directed towards.

Tancred said...

I don't see how they could support a non-Catholic.

Athelstane said...

I'm afraid I share Rorate Caeli's assessment on this: the deposition of the bishop is not entirely unjust. It was the bizarre protection of Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity by His Excellency that gave his enemies the opportunity to remove him. "It was the Bishop's stubborn stance in defense of a priest with such an abominable past that brought upon this visitation -- and now the same Bishop's dismissal."

We are now left to pray that what GOOD works Bp. Livieres Plano was able to accomplish in his diocese will not be undone as a result of this.

Traditional and tradition-friendly ecclesiastics will be held to higher standards, my friends, regardless of whether that's fair or not. There's no margin for error - especially where tolerance for sexual deviancy in the priesthood is concerned. Urrutigoity has now brought down two such bishops. The SSPX, at least, was able to figure out what he was before he could damage them as well.

Tancred said...

If it's not wholly unjust, then 90% of the German Episcopate should be going in vacation.

Athelstane said...

It is a tragedy that Tina Beattie has reached such a pass, but you have unwittingly identified the reason: Tina Beattie cannot, by any reasonable definition be considered a "faithful" Catholic at present.

She is on the record as 1) opposing the Church's teaching on the evil of abortion, 2) favoring *sacramental* (not just civil!) same-sex marriage, and 3) ordaining women.

It's hard to see how any diocese could justify giving such a platform to someone who is such a vigorous public detractor of key Church teachings. There's a great deal of issues that Catholics can argue about and differ on. These teachings are simply not among them.

Athelstane said...

Tancred, I wouldn't disagree at all. And if we are to speak of the evils of protecting deviant priests, Cardinal Daneels not only should have no place in the upcoming Synod, he ought to have been removed from his see over twenty years ago. Instead, his ecclesiastical career hums merrily along.

But as I said - as Rorate notes - there's a double standard. This is why traditional orders and societies police these things so vigorously. They simply won't get the benefit of the doubt that a place like Collegeville will.

Tancred said...

It doesn't matter, if something obvious that touches people's emotions can't be found, something which touches people's emotions will be fabricated.

Most other bishops would not be able to withstand this kind of scrutiny.

The bishop's real crime is being too Catholic, and maybe being overly credulous about Urrutigoity.

I will point out that there were a lot of people out there, who are pretty silent now, who were pretty vociferous when I was taking Father Marshal Roberts to task.

Should Bergolio go after Bishop Vasa now or the Bishop of Grejus-Toulon? I expect he will.

Tancred said...

Do you know if Urrutigoity has been guilty of molesting or doing anything strange since he got appointed?

I was shocked and annoyed about this when it happened, but I assume people, especially bishops, have good will and make errors in good faith.

He wouldn't be the first institutional figure who have someone a second chance.

Athelstane said...


I'm not aware of episodes which may have taken place since he arrived in Ciudad del Este.

Nonetheless: What Fr. Urrutigoity had done already should already have been grounds for barring him from ministry in the diocese (let alone appointment as Vicar General!). The information was not hard to come by.

When Bishop Fellay was confronted with his actions, he did not stop to ask whether he deserved a second chance. He not only turfed him out of the Society, but also made a point of sending a warning to Bishop Timlin in 1999:

I think it's obvious that Bp. Livieres Plano's progressivist enemies were gunning for him. Perhaps they would have found some way to take him out anyway. Unfortunately, he gave them a large stock of ammunition by giving honor and place to Urrutigoity. And now he shares Bishop Timlin's fate as a result.

Anonymous said...

Being a Catholic will make you stand out from the crowd, this will make you subject to attacks by apostates. This bishop made a stupid, stupid, very stupid mistake. Satan saw a crack in the fortress and he turned it into a breach. This is like politics in that if you truly want to make a change you have to be without blemish.

Regardless of sanctity or even success, Francis will continue persecuting crypto-lefebvrists. This isn't about vocations or money anymore, it's about ideals.

I think it's safe to say that we're living in the "Catholic Civil War".

Tancred said...

Splinter versus forest of logs.

Tancred said...

When +Lovieres publicly accused a Leftist Cardinal who is a public sinner of being such, that's all they needed to destroy his life's work. Perhaps there's wisdom in this?

Anonymous said...

Fair is fair. Where there is corruption it must be rooted out. Liberal or conservative. Lovieres showed bad judgment if not willful contempt when he ignored warnings from other bishops. Perverts should not be given a free pass just because they say the Extraordinary Form. It is a convenient disguise for some. That is been the camouflage for many. I await an investigation of the Society of Christ the King the High Priest. Personally I am wary of young men who enjoy buckled shoes, lace and baby blue pompoms. I already anticipate recrimination for saying that. But there were conservatives who denied reality and defended Maciel and Corapi, and many others, too.

Tancred said...

But it's not fair. Maybe you've been asleep for the last 50 years?

Tancred said...

I continue to defend Father Corapi.

Anonymous said...

Corapi? Are you serious? He is in an undisclosed Shangri La living with who know who, laughing at those he duped while counting his dividends. How much Kool Aid do you have to drink before you face reality?

Athelstane said...

"I await an investigation of the Society of Christ the King the High Priest. Personally I am wary of young men who enjoy buckled shoes, lace and baby blue pompoms. I already anticipate recrimination for saying that."

And you'd deserve them if you have no allegations to make, or evidence to back them up.

Tancred said...

I believe he's a deviant himself. I usually delete his comments.

Anonymous said...

Is that a joke?!!

Anonymous said...

Fr. Urrutigoity is not guilty, he was falsely accused in Pennsylvania and then no one accused him again. This bishop's decision was based on the recommendations he got from some people in the Vatican. This case didn't have anything to do with his situation. It was all part of an ideological warfare because he is against liberation theology and therefore all the rest of the bishops in Paraguay.