|Father Lorusso, Removed |
Without Charges or Trial
(Rome) Pope Francis has removed the number two of the Apostolic Nunciature in Italy not only from his post, but dismissed him completely from the diplomatic service. It's an unusual decision because there is nothing against the diplomat and priest. Neither was he accused of anything, nor has he been sentenced for anything, yet, in any cause. As a canon lawyer, he defended a former priest in a fairly unsavory matter. But nothing more. The Vatican expert Sandro Magister wrote about the incident an article with the headline: "Who am I Not to Judge." It also seems to be a matter of the Apostolic Nuncio to Italy, Archbishop Bernardini to meet the Pope is not very friendly together.
"Who am I Not to Judge"
Monsignor Luca Lorusso, 52 years old, is not only leaving the Apostolic Nunciature in Italy, but the diplomatic service of the Holy See, where he is to return to his home in the diocese of Taranto in Apulia. Or rather, he is gone. Monsignor Lorusso has been the number two papal diplomat to the Republic of Italy, which is headed by Archbishop Adriano Bernardini. Archbishop Bernardini was from 2003-2011 nuncio in Argentina, where he had a notoriously bad relationship with the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio. Lorussos' successor at the Embassy in Rome, the 44-year old Monsignor Giorgio Chezza from the diocese of Nardo-Gallipoli, had previously been in service at the Apostolic Nunciature in battered Syria, where he had been sent in 2012.
The dismissal of Msgr Lorusso from the diplomatic service is the most striking movement during the annual personnel decisions of the Diplomatic Corps of the Vatican.
Pope Announced Dismissal
Blatant, but not unexpected. It was publicly announced by Pope Francis personally last March 6 in the Aula Nervi of the Vatican before the bishops and the clergy of the diocese of Rome, who came together for the traditional meeting in Lent with the Pope.
On this occasion the Pope surprisingly said right after the welcome by the Cardinal Vicar Agostino Vallini and even before the actual speech:
"I was very concerned and felt terrible not only for some of you, but on account of the entire priesthood divided on account of the accusations that have been leveled against a group of you. I have spoken with some of you who have been accused and have seen the pain of these unjust wounds, madness, and I want to say publicly that I am close to the priesthood because here the defendants are not seven, eight or fifteen but the entire priesthood. I want to ask your forgiveness, not so much as your bishop, but as head of the Diplomatic Service, as Pope, because one of the accusers works in the diplomatic service. That was not forgotten. We studied the problem so that this person will be removed. It involves a grave injustice and for that I beg your pardon. "
Pope Francis then named no names, but the instructions were clear. These remarks by the Pope are not included in the official release of his speech.
Lorusso Provided Legal Counsel for a Pedophile Ex-priest
In the spring of 2013 was Patrizio Poggi, an ex-priest who had been returned to the lay state and already convicted of sexual abuse of five minors aged between 14 and 15 in the 90s for which he was sentenced to 5 years, according to the Italian police. He was released after serving his sentence in prison, when he then made accusations against a dozen Roman clerics, including the personal secretary of the Cardinal Vicar and accused them of the same crimes. Also in this context was talk of a "gay lobby" in the Vatican.
The accusation was supported by Msgr Lorusso, his canonical counsel on the question of his re-admission to the clerical state, which is pending before the CDF. Lorusso claims that his accusations were credible and substantiated. When the police investigated, the opposite was revealed. The prosecutor saw them as false accusations, which were part of a "shabby conspiracy". The ex-priest had wanted to force his return to the clerical state by extortion. In addition, he had feloniously presented himself as a judge in order to attract young people for sexual intercourse. Poggi was therefore remanded into custody on suspicion of serious defamation and attempted blackmail. The accuser was convicted, among other things, of being on record of claiming to have been abused during his student days at a minor seminary in Florence by the former rector.
Because Poggi had been defended by Msgr Lorusso, it came unexpectedly, that the Apostolic Nunciature was included with the Republic of Italy in the maelstrom which rocked the Diocese of Rome for a year back then. The icy relationship between Nuncio Bernardini and the Pope is not to be underestimated. Bernardini was in his time in Argentina, the leading opponent to the Archbishop of Buenos Aires. The nuncio had appointed 35 bishops for Argentina in this period against the wishes of Bergoglio. In addition, Bernardini urged steadvfastly directly to the non-negotiable values. Bergoglio has never forgiven him for that and seems resentful.
Poggi's unseemly notice seemed at first hand, to involve no ecclesial consequences. Several months later it happened when Pope Francis unexpectedly, personally addressed before hundreds of astonished priests and bishops together with the announcement that Monsignor Lorusso would be removed from his office, An amazing act, to act against the legal counsel of a perpetrator, defendant or prosecutor.
Monsignor Lorusso took part as an envoy with Nuncio Bernardini last February 18 at the traditional reception at the Italian Embassy by the Holy See, where the signing of the Lateran Treaty was commemorated. Then, on March 6, the unusual public condemnation by the Pope took place. Then the papal condemnation was executed.
Introduction / Translation: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Settimo Cielo
image: Settimo Cielo
Trans: Tancred email@example.com