Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Pope Francis Throws Ex-Superior General of the Mercedarians out of the Priesthood and the Order

Announcement of the Mercedarian Province of Chile:
Pope Francis Acknowledges Dismissal of the Former
Superior General from the Priesthood and Order
(Rome / Santiago de Chile) On April 20, the Chilean Mercedarian Province published the scarcely noticed news that the most severe Church punishments have been imposed by Pope Francis upon the former Superior General of the Order, Mariano Labarca Araja. The Vatican has not given any opinion on this.

The message of the Order, the silence of the Vatican

The Chilean Mariano Labarca was from 2004-2010 the 86th Superior General of the Order of Our Lady of Mercy for the Ransom of Prisoners (Ordo Beatae Mariae de Mercede redemptionis captivorum) founded in 1218, better known as Mercedarian Order. Since 1574, the General Magister has been elected for six years.
The Chilean Province said:
"Father Pedro MLA (ex-General Superior) was dismissed from the priesthood and the Order by decree of HH Francis, so he is no longer a priest and no longer a religious. This decision, which is irrevocable, has been taken after careful examination of the case brought to light in 2013, because of the serious damage to the priestly dignity and religious vows."

Labarca in "better" times

According to Spanish and Latin sources, the "reported case" appears to have involved sexual abuse. The case started in May 2013. The extent to which Pope Francis himself has been personally interested in the matter or has routinely signed the laicization decree is not known.
It is more astonishing that "there are cases of priests who are broadly and publicly treated and accused, and others, of whom we hear nothing, or just as good as nothing, as is the case here. The Spanish Catholic columnist, Francisco Fernandez de la Cigoña, is an attentive observer of the Church's developments in Latin America.
Mariano Labarca, for six years as a Superior General, led this Order rich in tradition, which included numerous Saints, including the founder and first General Magister Petrus Nolascus, Raimund of Peñafort, Raimund Nonnatus, Petrus Armengol and Seraprion, the first martyr of the Order. All these saints lived in the first 100 years of the Order, which at that time developed a very extraordinary charism.

The Mercedarian Order - For the Ransom of Enslaved Christians

The Holy Founder Petrus Nolascus

The Mother of God had appeared to the Occitan nobility, Petrus Nolascus, in 1218, who asked him to found an order to buy Christians, who were in Islamic captivity. Even then the south of Spain was still under Islamic rule. Until the eighteenth century, Islamic princes, army leaders and pirates sailed all over the Mediterranean and the European coasts. They attacked ships and Europe's coastal areas and, according to recent estimates, carried at least two million Christians as slaves to North Africa and the Middle East.
The Mercedarian Order collected money to buy the enslaved Christians in the south of Iberia, as well as in North Africa, which, because of the great hardship caused by the slaving of the Muslims in Iberia, also a few other Orders. When no money was available, the Mercedarians offered themselves as pledge to obtain the release of other Christians. Their actions were a "triumph of mercy" in the history of the Church.
Because of this original charism, the Order is still active in the prison system.
During the period when the Habsburgs also ruled over Spain, a Mercedarian monastery was established in Vienna, but in 1782 it fell victim to the Josephine sack of the monasteries.

Determined defense by the progressive side

Today, the Order is only a shadow of its former greatness. Today, however, little is known about the names of the great saints from the beginning of the Order. In 2015 it counted 581 members, but in large part this is over aged. The Mercedarian Order is responsible for the most important place of pilgrimage in Sardinia, the Basilica of Our Lady of Bonaria, named after the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires.
While the Labarca case is hardly to be read in the media, the former priest and former Mercedarian, the Basque Xabier Pikaza Ibarrondo, published on the progressive Spanish news site Periodista Digital an unconditional defense of the former Superior General. The contentious, progressive theologian Pikaza was not laicized punitively, but gave up his priesthood and left the Order to marry.
Pikaza criticizes the "zero tolerance" as unchristian. It contradicts the commandment of repentance and reconciliation. Labarca, who until a few years ago played a considerable role in the Church of Chile and was described as a possible bishop, had not been condemned by any secular court. His ecclesiastical condemnation had taken place in the silent chamber. The possibility of defense was doubtful, no one knew with what he was being charged. He, Pikaza, had tried to contact his old religious brother during the proceedings, which was not possible. He had only been informed by the Order that the ex-Superior General should not be in contact with the outside world on the instructions of the Vatican.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Mercedarian Chiles / Wikicommons (Screenshot)
Trans: Tancred vekron99@hotmail.com
Link to Katholisches...


GMUA said...

If he were a valid priest I would have commented. "He is a priest forever. Regardless of what a superior says he's not anymore". But since we're talking about a modernist layman being reprimanded by another modernist layman in papal garb. It's whatever...

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that Francis would go after a radical liberal priest, regardless of his crimes. This is actually a very good thing. But, unfortunately, mostly all Vatican II era religious Orders have dozens, of not hundreds of priests guilty of similar crimes....not to mention in dioceses.
The Mercedarian Order in the USA has barely 25 members. Yet they have been in the USA for close to 100 years. The first were Italian friars who established 2 parishes catering to newly arrived Italian immigrants. Before Vatican II, the Order world wide had about 1,800 friars, and was particularly strong in Italy,Spain, and Mexico. Today, it has less than half that number of friars, most are elderly.
In the USA Provice of the Order, they attempt to appear traditional, and staff a parish in my Philadelphia Archdiocese and also have their friary for formation here in Philadelphia. They send their seminarians to Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, which is about four blocks from their base. They have never had more than 4 mem in training at the seminary, and even after claiming to be traditional, still only have barely 24 friars in the USA. They have hovered around that total for years...never growing.
They remind me of the EWTN Franciscan Friars of the Eternal Word, who from all outward appearances are orthodox and traditional and should be growing with many vocations, but are not. A deeper look into both Orders, revealing such scandals as this priest, and sexual immorality of all kinds, as well as laxity in observance, is the root of the problem. They are hypocrits.....appearing traditional...but are not.
Damian Malliapalli

Tancred said...


Anonymous said...

Hey, we're practically neighbors! Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia.


Anonymous said...


JBQ said...

Could this have something to do with the anti Islam stance of the order? It is the belief of HH Francis that Islam is an evolving entity which is repentant in its own way. He has stated that the cause of the violence is caused by economic disparity. The history of this order is proof and this is a theological issue and not an economic one. Nevertheless, you do have to weed out those who take advantage of their position as a form of sexual depravity.

Blotto said...

Good point! Although whether the founder and the gloriously martyred members of the Mercedarians would even recognise the Order in the 21st century is open to question. What is certain though is that nothing must be allowed to get in the way of the Church's decades-long vogue for the "insanity" (to quote Pope Gregory XVI) of religious liberty - currently on steroids and topped off with a Scotch Bonnet washed down with a bottle of bourbon.

Anonymous said...

The "anti Islam" element of the Mercedarian Order dies out hundreds of years ago. They, and the smaller and less well known Order of the Most Holy Trinity (founded by Saint John de Matha in France (Cerfroid, France), alittle before the Mercedarians were the two Orders whose friars would actually volunteer to take the place of Christians captured by Muslims. Some actually were taken by the Muslims while the layman they were rescuing went free. The Orders also paid huge ransoms to free Christians captured by Muslims as well.
But this original zeal died out about 500+ years ago, and both Orders became simply Orders of mendicant friars like the Dominicans and Franciscans establishing monasteries, schools, as well as being missionaries.
In the Church of Vatican II, I don't think we can say any Order has escaped the rot that came from it. Seeing pictures of this now disgraced priest in layclothes unfortunately is how most of them dress in Europe, which is why so many Orders are dying out. The Trinitarians numbered about 1,000 before Vatican II, and are close to 700 today....so they have not suffered as badly as the Mercedarians. Their habit is also among the most unique and beautiful in the Church for male religious. Probably the nicest.
Unfortunatly since Vatican II, and encouraged by the bad example of recent Popes, especially JP II and worst of all...Francis, the missionary spirit in the Catholic Church (missionary in the true, authentic, pre Vatican II mindset) is gone. Proof is that literally all the once great Orders of both male and female religious whose original purpose was missionary, have suffered huge losses since Vatican II and have no vocations.
Just as an example---in the USA alone,right before Vatican II, there were over 36,000 USA missionaries(priests and nuns). And that was just in the USA. Now imagine the even bigger totals that used to come from Europe, and some from Latin America. All gone.
Today, if there are 250 USA missionary priests or nuns out in the field, I'd be surprised! :)
Damian Malliapalli

Anonymous said...

Yes, I've seen the beautiful Cathedral in Philly which I think is the main Church of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia. A church near my house reminds me of it, but that church is Greek Orthodox...St. Luke's in Broomall.
Damian Malliapalli

Anonymous said...

"A deeper look into both Orders, revealing such scandals as this priest, and sexual immorality of all kinds, as well as laxity in observance, is the root of the problem. They are hypocrits.....appearing traditional...but are not."

I was studying with the Mercedarians and left because of the rampant homosexuality and psychological abuse in the order.