Showing posts with label Paraguay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paraguay. Show all posts

Friday, March 24, 2017

Priestly Society of St. John of Ciudad del Este Abolished -- Legacy of Bishop Livieres Dismantled

Ciudad del Este: Dissolution of the Society of Saint John (CSSJ) by Bishop
(Asuncion) On March 16, the Priestly Society of St. John (CSSJ) has been abolished by Bishop Wilhelm Steckling of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay. The abolition is connected with the removal of Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano, who was deposed in 2014 by Pope Francis. Both interventions have something in common: they were done without official naming of reasons, were accompanied by dirty media speculations and are part of a hard factional debate on the understanding of the Church. 

Vocations crisis is no natural phenomenon

When Bishop Rogelio Livieres was deposed by Pope Francis in the late summer of 2014, the Holy See gave no reasons for the radical intervention. Officially, it was never disclosed what the bishop who died in 2015 during an operation had been accused of doing. This provided more space for speculation. From the Pope's decree, however, it was clear that Bishop Livieres had disturbed the "concord" in the Episcopal Conference. In Paraguay, which strongly progressive and liberation theological, lay the crux of the matter.

Bishop Rogelio Livieres (1945-2015)

Bishop Livieres belonged to Opus Dei . He was appointed by Pope John Paul II, and took over a diocese on ropes, which had hardly any priests. Until then, the seminarians of all the dioceses of the country were trained in a central national seminary in Asuncion, whose mind was formed on liberation theology. Bishop Livieres withdrew his seminarians and founded his own seminary. The education was oriented to the teachings of the Church, the sacramental priesthood was emphasized and the reverence for the sacrament of the altar was lived. In the parishes, the bishop intensified the religious instruction by founding Bible study groups and the formation of catechists. In addition, Eucharistic worship and the celebration of Holy Mass were promoted in the traditional Rite.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

No "Brotherly Visitation" for "Open" Diocese

Bishop Sergio Osvaldo Buenanueva of San Francisco in
Cordoba, in photo as Auxiliary Bishop of Mendoza,
in the background is the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires,
Jorge Mario Bergoglio

(Rome) The betrayal of the priestly promise of chastity is as old as the priesthood, but it has always been an offense, both to the faithful and to the unbelievers, the latter being fond of using it as a moral charge against the Church. In Luther's time this was no different from today. After his ordination, Ulrich Zwingli, the Swiss "reformer", first fell into the mills of politics, then into the bed of a woman whom he impregnated, and finally pushed into the front row of the Reformation. In Argentina, the media, not unlike in Europe, are reporting with a mixture of scandal and schadenfreude on the third priest of the diocese of San Francisco and Cordoba, who had to give up his priesthood in the past year because he was not only in a "father" the spiritual sense but also in the physical. The most recent case concerns the priest Marcio Peironi.

The Diocese, established in 1961, has a total of thirty-two diocesan priests, which means that the loss of three its priests is a painful jolt for the diocese. For the time being, there is no indication that Rome intends to send the diocese a "fraternal visitation" as has already happened to the Diocese of Ciudad del Este in neighboring Paraguay in 2014.

The difference seems to lie in the fact that Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano of Ciudad del Este, a traditional Bishop from the ranks of Opus Dei was, by his extensive pastoral work, had "shamed" the liberation theology-inspired Paraguayan Episcopal Conference. The Diocese of San Francisco de Cordoba does, however, constitute an "openness to the surprises of the Holy Spirit", as the newspaper La Capital wrote in yesterday's edition.

Bishop Livieres abandoned the nationwide unified education of the seminarians and in 2007 founded his own diocesan priestly seminary. There the candidates were trained in both forms of the Roman rite and in the traditional sense. The Ciudad del Este priestly seminary had enrolled two and a half times as many seminarians in 2014 as all other dioceses in Paraguay. Although only about ten per cent of Paraguayan faithful belong to this diocese, Bishop Livieres had 70 per cent of all seminarians in the country. This had to do with the different understanding of the priesthood and church. But that was not desired, as such an imbalance would soon have had country-wide consequences.

The "fraternal" inclination to Ciudad del Este

Bishop Livieres was regarded by the other bishops as a "troublemaker". One of them, the liberation theorist, Fernando Lugo, Bishop of San Pedro, the political commitment was so important that he had to be released from his episcopal rights and duties in order to become President of the Union as part of a left coalition. It turned out later that the confinement had more to do with the repeated violation of his celibacy promise. He is the father of at least two children from different women. He has had sexual relations with other women as a priest and bishop. As President of the Republic, he was removed from office after less than four years. Today, he sits as a representative of the Left Party Frente Guasu, which is a member of the Socialist International (SI), in the Paraguayan Senate.

Pope Francis sent a "brotherly visitor" to Bishop Livieres in 2014, he was so fraternal that the bishop was dismissed shortly afterwards, without mentioning a reason and under shameful circumstances, without being able to justify himself against the charge. Pope Francis even denied him audience. Francis will have to justify himself before God, wrote Bishop Livieres in a statement to his deposition. One year later the bishop sadly succumbed to a serious illness.

The priestly seminary of Ciudad del Este still exists, but has been rejoined by the new bishop to the National Seminary of Asuncion. The number of seminarians has fallen to a quarter after a massive purge of "conservative" candidates. Various traditional communities were dissolved, priests and orders were removed from the diocese, numerous changes took place.

The reaction is quite different in the diocese of San Francisco and Cordoba in Argentina. There is no "brotherly" visitation, because the diocese is considered "open to the surprises of the Holy Spirit". To which belongs, apparently, for the newspaper La Capital, also the procreation of children by priests.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi Image: Ciudad de San Francisco (Screenshot)
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches... 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano is Dead -- Outstanding Bishop of the "Ecclesia Militans" -- Dismissed by Pope Francis

Msgr. Rogelio Livieres, mighty and traditional Bishop, who
was dismissed by the Pope
(Asuncion) Last Friday, 14 August, "on the feast of holy apostle and martyrs Maximilian Kolbe and the Vigil of the Solemnity of the Assumption  it has pleased God  Almighty,  to dismiss His faithful servant, Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano, aged 69 years from this world," said Messa in LatinoMsgr. Livieres remained a mighty bishop until his death. He had led his diocese to the rediscovery of tradition within a few years to an unprecedented flowering. In 2014 he was deposed by a conspiracy of a  political viewpoint, by  Pope Francis. Unlike other unjustifiably deposed bishops, Bishop Livieres did not withdraw into seclusion,  but actively continued his apostolate in other ways. At his deposition he said he was following "of course" all the instructions of the pope, but Francis would have to answer for this decision before God.

Born in Argentina He Did Not Sing in the "Choir" of the Latin American Majority Clergy

Bishop Lieveres was Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay. Born in Argentina, he was at the time of death in hospital  Sanatorio Austral of Buenos Aires. There he was to have a surgery on his liver, but due to sudden heart problems, doctors decided not to perform the operation.
Bishop Lieveres had  been known as an "authentic Catholic voice in Latin America" in three respects. It came about because the distinctive bishop did not sing in the "choir" of the Latin American majority clergy, nor that of his brother Bishops. He stayed away from all spiritual and ideological movements, which have dedicated themselves above all to "the promotion of earthly salvation". This includes above all the liberation theology, but not only. Bishop Livieres complained several times that in the Paraguayan Church a "doctrinal disorder" ruled, which unilaterally affected in favor of secular salvation to the detriment of eternal salvation.

Since 2004, Bishop of Ciudad del Este - Renewal by Rediscovering Tradition

Bishop Livieres, pugnacious bishop of the "church militant" is dead
Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano was a member of the personal prelature of Opus Dei. Born Livieres, 30 August 1945 in Corrientes, the capital of the Argentine province right on the banks of the Parana. In 1978 he was ordained a priest. The Parana River near  the home of Bishop Livieres forms the border between Argentina and Paraguay. From Corrientes there is a view to   the neighboring country, which would be the bishop's second home in the future.
Consecrated bishop of the Diocese of Ciudad del Este in 2004, Msgr. Livieres took over a diocese with only a few priests. Bishop Livieres followed Benedict XVI. with the freeing of the traditional form of the Roman Rite. The bishop himself publicly celebrated publicly bi-ritually, in the ancient rite. Recently the diocese had celebrated the ancient rite in almost every parish. The rediscovery of the tradition led to an unprecedented flowering in a diocese whose situation was quite dire at the turn of the century.

Old Mass in Parishes - Private Seminary with Nearly 250 Seminarians

The trend in the Church of Paraguay aimed at formation of lay. Bishop Livieres departed from this. For all of Paraguay there was only one seminary in Asuncion. But there was and is where  liberation theology was taught. Bishop Livieres, therefore, founded his own seminary, where there is  "true Catholic teaching and liturgy." In the academic year 2013/2014, the diocesan seminary of Ciudad del Este prepared nearly 250 seminarians for  the priesthood. Far more than all of the other Paraguayan dioceses together. This is considering that  the Diocese of Ciudad del Este, has only twelve percent of Catholics Paraguay. Ciudad del Este gave  visible proof, "that young men who feel called to the priesthood,  do not want an chaotic liberal environment, where the sacramental priesthood is no longer taken seriously, but will be demoted as much as possible in favor of a universal priesthood", so Messa in Latino .
Bishop Livieres had not only been opposed by the old liberal clergy in his diocese, but also drew  the envy and resentment of the other bishops of the country. In the Paraguayan Bishops Conference, he was shunned with his position as an outsider. The conflict was substantive in nature: it was about the understanding of the Church and a different theology. Above all the other bishops seem to have feared that the future of the Church throughout Paraguay could be affected the by many priests formed with a quite different approach in Ciudad del Este.

The Argentine, whose Catholic renewal displeased  confreres and Pope Francis

By 2014, thriving seminary of Ciudad del Este
This opposition of a part of his own clergy and other bishops earned him an Apostolic Visitation. The background was that the former Metropolitan Archbishop of Asuncion, the Redemptorist Eustaquio Pastor Cuquejo Verga was, among other things, a homosexual. Bishop Livieres viewed him as one of several reasons for the wrong course of Paraguayan church. Pope Benedict XVI. pulled the handbrake and put aside Cuquejo's Archbishop Coadjutor. It was an intervention which brought the liberal clergy and episcopate of Bishop Livieres in connection, as to who enjoyed prestige in Rome.
The aforementioned   liberal priests in his diocese from 2004 denounced Bishop Livieres to the Apostolic Nuncio. The other bishops of Paraguay advised the need for a visitation. Under Pope Benedict XVI. there was no prospect of such a visitation. With the election of Pope Francis, the situation had however changed fundamentally. Livieres is Argentinian and was personally known to the new pope. Both knew, they were not on the same wavelength. The seminary of Ciudad del Este was a challenge to Buenos Aires, where no less than 30 seminarians were preparing for the priesthood, even though the archdiocese is four times as large as the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires.

The Intrigue and the Apostolic Visitor

In July 2014, the Pope sent Cardinal Francis Abril as apostolic visitor to Ciudad del Este. The Pope sent   a close friend to Paraguay, who is as  skeptical about the traditional rite as the head of the Church himself. Cardinal Santos Abril had just discontinued the celebration of the traditional rite in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, whose archpriest he is. The Visitation held forth little good hope. Observers spoke of a correspondence of thought between the liberal clergy, the other bishops and since 2013, head of dissident church leaders in Rome.
Bishop Livieres seems to have sensed or seen through what game was being played and went so far as to make the thoughtless public utterance about the homosexuality of the now Archbishop Emeritus of Asuncion and spoke of an intrigue.That put the opponent into even greater outrage, because now they had a trump card. Such  public accusations  made against church officials are not admissible to the Church.

Rumors and Smoke Screens - Livieres has disturbed the "unity" of the Church of Paraguay

Meanwhile opponents of Bishop Livieres fueled suspicions. The rumor mill has been fired up, the media speculated.  Above all, Bishop Livieres took in priests from the United States who were conspicuously placed at the center. The ingredients of the rumors denominated homosexuality, child abuse (in the US) in connection with  tradition. This game of intrigue can be still found in the Internet, on the Wikipedia page about Bishop Livieres. However, the facts are different. In any case, action was taken against the US priests and not against the bishop. While the bishop was deposed, the priests remained unmolested. He served only as a smokescreen in the intrigue against Bishop Livieres.
The visitor returned to Rome and Bishop Livieres was dismissed by Pope Francis  on September 25, 2014. In the Vatican there are no reasons given for the dismissal, of what the bishop would have been guilty of doing. Yet it can be read out that the real reason for  the dismissal was the front building between Bishop Livieres and the other bishops of Paraguay. The Bishop of Ciudad del Este displeased the other bishops. He was accused of endangering the "unity". In plain English: We found him a troublemaker and wanted to get rid of him. That he could reap rich fruit in his diocese, made him completely unbearable. Its salience was his undoing. Also in Rome unity is seen by Pope Francis as a majority question. However, a significant break was visible through the deposition of Bishop Livieres.

Pope Francis deposed Bishop Livieres, but refused to talk to him

Bishop Livieres had been ordered at the time of dismissal to Rome to lure him away from his diocese. In Rome they made him wait in front of closed doors. He learned of his deposition from the media. He urged the Vatican with Pope Francis to speak. He wanted to know what he was accused and demanded the right to be able to defend against the complaints whatsoever. But Pope Francis refused an interview. A note more that it was about an "ideological" decision ultimately what Pope Francis accused repeatedly traditionally associated circles, but on the other hand the opposite tradition practiced himself. While Bishop Livieres waited in Rome in vain to be received and heard by Francis, Ciudad del Este was seized by an appointed administrator and taken possession of the diocese, leaving the bishop's  sister at the door who managed her brother's household, having changed the locks.
Unlike other dismissed bishops, Bishop Livieres did not  retire. He publicly declared that "of course" he would follow all instructions in papal obedience, but Pope Francis will have to answer for this dismissal before God. At the same time the Bishop Emeritus participated in the founding of Adelante la Fe, a new Spanish-speaking Catholic Internet portal.
Only eleven months after his dubious dismissal, which is symptomatic of the current pontificate, Bishop Livieres died of complications shortly before surgery.
Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine:
et lux perpetua Luceat egg.
Requiescat in pace. Amen.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: ABC Color (Screenshot)
Trans: Tancred

Monday, July 20, 2015

When the Pope Makes a Blooper -- The Pitfalls of Casual Free Speech

Pope Francis in Asuncion Paraguay
(Rome / Asuncion) the Pope used the word "hermeneutics", a word unusual for him, at a press conference on the flight back from the trip to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay. Within minutes, he used this word eleven times and asked, it should also apply in the context of his words, "in fact it  is often suitable for two- and ambiguous interpretations," said Vatican expert Sandro Magister. Promptly, two days later,   Osservatore Romano dabbled in to be the first to offer  an interpretation of the papal words.  The blooper  Pope Francis had scored with his penchant for casual free speech in Asuncion was passed over in silence.
The Brazilian Msgr Dario Vignanò ventured to make an analysis of the free speech style of Francis. He dedicated his first public statement as the first prefect of the newly established Secretariat for Communication through the "communicative style of Bergoglio between oral form and concreteness". The actual title of the article reads: " Francis in the Global Village."

One-eyed Analysis of Papal Communication Style

Msgr. Viganò is the first head of dicastry in  o the Roman Curia who is neither a bishop  nor raised to Bishop  with his appointment. Viganò took over in 2014 from Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, the management of the Vatican Television Centre CTV, a task which he retains, and carries since 2004 receiving  the title of Honorary Pontifical Chaplain.
It seems that Msgr. Viganò  apparently randomly used the address by Pope Francis to the youth of Paraguay for his theses. The speech on the evening of July 12 was given extemporaneously by the Pope after he had rejected the prepared manuscript.
Viganò wrote: "I believe that the key to understanding the communicative practice of Pope Franzikus is to look in the now classic studies on the relationship between the oral and written. A prepared speech is boring, because it is a text, which has been designed in writing. We know how the written culture has prized abstract thinking, abstract thinking and objectivity over oral conciseness." 

"Rapid progress in zigzag style"

"The Pope's style, however, is a more than an ample style, capable of the ultimate strength of  context - the reference to the hermeneutics during the press conference on the flight back from South America was clear - and  captured the concreteness. By no means does redundancy appear negative, but rather as an intrinsic necessity for those who communicate orally, one the one hand, rapid steps forward rushing along the paths of the word and at the same time proceeding in a zigzag manner by associated by its frequent repetitions, what he has already said."
Viganò concludes:
"The speeches of Pope Francis is a revival of the ancient practice of word of mouth communication, in turn, facing a recognition and stability of actual community, by triggering a network, based on the pleasure of a rediscovered embrace between humanity and the Gospel."

Unprecedented Public Affront of Head of State

In a Church Praying for the Release of Edilio Morinigo
"Redundancy, repetition, zigzag exemplary striding ... Had Msgr. Viganò not spoken of Francis to the youth of Paraguay as the basis taken for his study, but the speech of the day held before the pope to the civil society representatives in Asuncion, he would have recognized not only the benefits but also the limitations of a too naive 'orality' of communication," said Sandro Magister.
There Francis said in his free speech:
"There are things that I want respect yet take before I close. And since politicians are present - also the President of the Republic - I say it in fraternal form.  Someone told me, 'Listen,  Mr. So and So has been kidnapped by the army. Do something!'  I am not saying whether it's true or not, whether it is fair or not, but one of the methods, which applied to the dictatorial ideologies of the last century, of which I have just spoken, was to remove the people, either by exile or by captivity, or - in the case of Nazi and Stalinist extermination camps - they were removed by death. Thus there is a real culture in a nation, a political culture and a culture of the common good, it needs swiftly clear processes, transparent processes. Another type of maneuver is not beneficial. A transparent, clear justice. This will help all of us. I do not know if there is such a thing here or not; I say it with all due respect. You told me so when I came in, they told me here. And may I  - for I do not know who - ask; I have not understood the names well."

Pope Confused Regular Army with a Communist Terrorist Organization and Accused President of a Crime 

Marxist-Leninist Paraguayan People's Army EPP
The name Francis had "not well understood"  is that of Edelio Morinigo, officer of Paraguayan Army (Ejército Paraguayo). Morinigo was kidnapped a year ago, but not by the regular army, which he himself belongs, but by a self-styled Paraguayan People's Army (Ejército del Pueblo Paraguayo, EPP), a Marxist-Leninist terrorist organization that was founded in 2008, which wanted to overthrow the Paraguayan government  and establish a communist republic.
Although Pope Francis himself admitted to know nothing about the case and had not even understood the name of the person concerned, he had no qualms, in complete ignorance of the facts to "brotherly" and publicly accuse the Paraguayan government and specifically the president of a crime, which he put into a context of the worst atrocities of the Nazis and Communists.
"Hats off to the attitude of Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes, who was unaffected by any reaction to an impressive public affront," says Magister.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Settimo Cielo
Trans: Tancred

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Pope Visit in November 2015 to Paraguay -- No Visit to Ciudad del Este

Marian Shrine in Caacupe in Paraguay
(Rome / Asuncion) Pope Francis will visit Paraguay on 15 November 2015. The date has not yet been confirmed by the Holy See, but seems to have been agreed with by the Episcopal Conference of the South American country. The Pope doesn't want to visit his native Argentina till  2016. A visit to the Diocese of Ciudad del Este, whose outstanding diocesan Bishop, Rogelio Livieres. whome the pope deposed at the end of September, is not provided for.
The pastoral visit to Paraguay was made known by the Mayor of Caacupé, Roberto Franco, who appealed to Bishop Catalino Claudio Giménez Medina. The Bishop of Caacupé and chairman of the Paraguayan Episcopal Conference had just returned from a visit with Pope Francis in Santa Marta. According to Mayor Franco, Pope Francis told the bishop   he wants to visit the great Marian National Shrine of Nuestra Señora de los Milagros de Caacupé on 15 November.
Bishop Giménez has not yet confirmed the Pope's visit to journalists about the exact date. The trip will take place, "the date is not sure yet, because the final step took place with changes that require only familiarization."  An allusion to the description made by Pope Francis a week ago in a reshuffle of the Vatican State Department. The former "foreign minister", Msgr. Dominique Mamberti was appointed Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura and Msgr. Paul Richard Gallagher as the new "foreign minister". Msgr. Mamberti is succeeding Cardinal Burke, exiled in a papal retaliation from the Roman Curia. 

Visit the Ruins of a Jesuit Reduction - No Visit to the Diocese of the Deposed Bishop Livieres

Even the ruins of Trinity Church still impress
According to Ultima Hora  scheduled destinations besides Caacupé are the cities Villarrica and the capital Asuncion. In addition, Pope Francis wanted to visit the ruins of the Jesuit reduction Itapua and thus show reverence to the Jesuit Missions of the reductions of the 17th and 18th centuries. Probably he would visit the former  Reduction of La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná (Holy Trinity of Paraná), which was declared a UNESCO World Culture Site of mankind.
Moreover, the Pope is expected to visit an indigenous community in the Rio Pilcomayo in the Chaco. No visit is planned in the Diocese of Ciudad del Este, which was an exception among the dioceses in Paraguay until recently.  Although only ten percent of Catholics in the country belong to Ciudad del Este,  the priest candidates of its diocesan seminary outnumber by three times all of the other dioceses together. The 2004   Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano of Opus Dei was appoited by John Paul II, who created a diocese that was flourishing in many respects in ten years. A flower that was based by a return to the unabridged Catholic doctrine and its proclamation. Bishop Livieres also promoted the traditional form of the Roman Rite, which is celebrated in almost all parishes next to the Novus Ordo.
On September 24, 2014, Pope Francis deposed the Bishop  without specific allegations. From the brief explanation by the Press Office of the Holy See it was deduced that the other bishops had urged the removal of the bishop, because he had obviously disturbed the "unity" among the bishops (see Pope Francis sets from Bishop Livieres - intrigues against faithful bishops continues ).
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Portal Guarani / Wikicommons
Trans: Tancred

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Pope Refuses to Receive Dismissed Bishop -- As If -- "Dialog, Mercy and Respect"

Bishop Livieres Hard Answer From Rome
(Rome / Asuncion) For days, Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano has been in Rome and asking to be received by Pope Francis. Vain. Instead, the bishop was removed from office. This  bishop responded  to this treatment with a harsh response. Meanwhile there is public celebration in progressive church circles in Paraguay for his removal.
Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano of Ciudad del Este is not a man who minces  words. This has made him disliked among Paraguay's bishops, to which until a few years ago, Bishop Fernando Lugo belonged,  the "red bishop" of San Pedro, who preferred to be candidate for a broad leftist coalition as president against the will of Rome and he gave up his episcopate and priesthood. Bishop Livieres is now the victim of an equally surprising and brutal "decapitation" and because he is not a man of arbitrariness, he responded with a  savory letter to the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet.
On the website of the diocese of the dossier from last summer was re-released, with which the diocese had responded to all the rumors and accusations, passed behind closed doors by word of mouth or addressed by the Apostolic Visitor Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, a personal confidant of the Pope Francis.

Bishop Has Asked for Days to be Received in Rome by the Pope - in Vain

The letter to Cardinal Ouellet and the dossier discloses the ethical, but also formal irregularities of a campaign to discredit a bishop, aimed at his deposition,  that has taken place now. "An operation that has an ideological connotation," the Vaticanist Marco Tosatti.
As a "true son of the Church," he accepts the decision, says Bishop Livieres, even if it is "unfounded and arbitrary, for which the Pope must be answerable to God". The bishop's letter continues: "Apart from many human errors that I may have committed, and for which I ask  pardon from God and those who may have suffered, I ask once more firmly that the core of the case is an opposition and an ideological persecution."

Inner-Paraguayan  "Opposition and Ideological Persecution"

Msgr. Livieres who belongs to Opus Dei, was the only "conservative" bishop in Paraguay. A fact that will say something about the situation within the Episcopal Conference and with the reference to the "opposition"  as the bishop says. When Bishop Livieres had by far the largest seminary in the whole country and for miles around, then it depends not least with the attitude of the other bishops. The promotion of priestly vocations has  in much of Latin America  long been in disarray. Cultural barriers to the indigenous population have not been  resolved, the subliminal strong currents of liberation theology is in a "ideological" contrary to the priesthood. Liberal bishops  do their worst.
"The real problem of the Church in Paraguay is the crisis of faith, life and morality, which was further supported and extended by poor training of clergy, together with the laxity of the shepherds," wrote  Bishop Livieres to Cardinal Ouellet.
The bishop never once received the report of the Apostolic Visitator so he could not concretely address  Rome  to justify or defend himself. "If you think the problem of the Church of Paraguay is a problem of the sacristy, which one solves by exchanging the sacristan, one errs fundamentally and tragically."

Dismissal "In Contradiction to the Many Speeches of Dialogue, Compassion and Respect"

Bishop Livieres was never told at any time  of any wrongdoing or even complaints held by Rome, which made it impossible for any reply.. Out of the blue it was carried out without any reason specifying the impeachment. "Contrary to the many speeches of dialogue, compassion, openness, decentralization and respect for the local churches, I was given neither an opportunity to speak with Pope Francis or  the possibility  to make clear doubts or worries. Consequently, I was also not paternally rebuked  by him - or fraternally - how things were seen."
Bishop Livieres ends his letter with the words: "Such a procedure without any formality or undefined and abrupt nature appears to be not very fair. You do not offer room for a legitimate defense or for a reasonable correction of possible errors. From Rome I only obtained pressure to resign. "
Bishop Rogelio Livieres has been in Rome for several days  and asks to be received by the Pope - in vain. In Paraguay, the news of the dismissal was made known in the absence of the bishop. While in his diocese, guesswork and frustration prevail, in other parts of the country the progressive church circles does not hide their joy and  is celebrating the dismissal publicly.

Ex-bishop Lugo Celebrates Dismissal: "Livieres has not worked for the unity of the Church"

Senator and Ex-Bishop Fernando Lugo 
In Paraguay where the episcopate which is thoroughly embossed with liberation theology, Bishop Livieres is an anomaly. Attached to this episcopal row, is also included Fernando Lugo, who a few years ago  preferred, against the will of Rome, to hang up the dignity of Bishop and priesthood, in order to run for a broad leftist coalition. As President, he failed within a short time. Among other things, it was learned that he, as a bishop, had a relationship with a woman and fathered a child.
That was yesterday. Today the  Ex-bishop Lugo, who maintained good contacts with high ecclesiastical dignitaries of Paraguay after his laicization, celebrated the dismissal of Bishop Livieres. The senator said this in an interview for the newspaper ABC."  Pope Francis just does not tolerate any form of irregularities, be they  doctrinal, moral or in personal style" said Senator Lugo even bring up the much-discussed case of the Argentine priest Carlos Urrutigoity, who then years before in the United States was accused of "suspected sexual abuse", but does not see this as the reason of dismissal, because the declaration of the Vatican speaks of "pastoral reasons" and "unity," said Lugo.

Crux of Understanding of the Church and Liberation Theology?

What Livieres is being blamed for, "and what I also have criticized him for," said Lugo, was the fact that he had not contributed  "to the unity of the Church" in Paraguay. Ex-bishop Lugo was among the sharpest of Bishop Livieres' critics among church officials in the country. Bishop Livieres fought  liberation theology as "harmful" and several times raised the criticism that at the seminary of Asuncion, the liberation theology will continue to spread. For this reason, the Bishop decided to pay special attention to an independent priestly formation, which occurred exclusively in his diocese and to peel off from the Archdiocese of Asuncion and the Bishops' Conference in pastoral matters.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: ABC Color (screenshots)
Trans: Tancred

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Pope Francis Suspends Priestly Ordinations in Paraguay: The Fate of Courageous Local Bishop in the Balance

The first step has been reached after the apostolic visit to the Paraguayan diocese. Francis will soon decide the future of Bishop Rogelio Livieres 

The following is part of a report by Andres Alvarez at the Neocatholic Vatican Insider at Italy's anti-Clerical La Stampa. There's no discussion that the courageous Bishop Livieres' accusations of aberrosexuality on the part of one of his brother bishops, or his denunciations of Liberation Theology had anything to do with this as reported earlier here. Surely there are worse Diocese in Paraguay who produce no vocations, house Old Liberal Bishops and confuse the faithful endlessly with their heterodoxy? Nope, sorry, too much Catholicism it seems.

[VATICAN CITY, Vatican Insider] An immediate and forceful measure was undertaken in the Paraguayan Diocese of Ciudad del Este. In recent days two envoys of the Pope to the government conducted an audit of Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano and, before leaving the country, dropped a bomb: Francis has all sacerdotal and diaconal ordinations in the diocese. So far no one has reported on the reasons for the freeze, but it clearly responds to a serious situation in the local seminary. [Like too much Catholicism, Latin, apostolic charity...]

The news was reported by the apostolic visitors, Spanish Cardinal Santos Abril y Castelló and Milton Luis Troccoli, Auxiliary Bishop of Montevideo (Uruguay). They concluded their investigations "in loco" on Saturday July 26. Investigations conducted during intense week, in which they passed around. It included fainting and subsequent hospitalization of the cardinal. 

According to the practice of the Holy See, the apostolic visits are usually reserved audits are often carried out in absolute discretion. But the case of Ciudad del Este was different. First of all because the conflict between its bishop and other members of the Paraguayan Bishops is public domain several years ago.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Vocations Boom Via Old Mass in Paraguay -- Pope Francis Orders Visitation

Pope Francis' Bull
(Rome / Asuncion) Pope Francis has ordered an Apostolic Visitation of the Diocese of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay. The Diocese of Alto Paraná on the border of Brazil and Argentina is one of the most traditional and has an above average number of priestly and religious vocations. Why the Pope has ruled for the visitation of a comparatively thriving diocese, while in the capital Asuncion, the Archbishop is a nuisance, the news about aberrosexuality is all over town?

Pope Francis has paid special "attention" to diocese, orders and communities that are connected to tradition, since the beginning of the pontificate. Ciudad del Este is one of these dioceses. The bishop's see is located in the second largest city of the Latin American country. It covers an area of ​​nearly 30,000 square kilometers and holds 700,000 Catholics. This represents 98 percent of the population.

Under Bishop Livieres There is a Big Boost in the Diocese

The Bishop of Ciudad del Este is the Argentinean Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, whom Pope John Paul II had appointed in 2004 at the head of the Paraguayan Diocese was only established in 1993. Since then the diocese has experienced an amazing recovery. The majority of the clergy consists of  priests from religious orders. By 2007, the diocese only had 12 diocesan priests and 70 religious priests. Today, they are preparing in the seminary more than 250 candidates for the priesthood. Almost all parishes of the diocese celebrate in the Old Rite.

As Blogonicus reported, it was confirmed by the Apostolic Nuncio to Paraguay, Monsignor Eliseo Ariotti, that the Holy See will conduct an apostolic visitation of the diocese. Pope Francis has instructed so that the former Vatican diplomat, Cardinal Santos April y Castello, archpriest of the Patriarchal Basilica since 2011, Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. Santa Maria Maggiore has been in the spotlight since the election of Pope Francis because the miraculous image of Our Lady Salus Populi Romani is a favorite church of the Argentine Pope, which he has already visited several times. In Santa Maria Maggiore, oppressed brothers of the Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate perform the altar service. There was the seat of the dissident group, which carried out a radical upheaval in the Order with the help of the Congregation of Religious. At the beginning of the month celebration of the Immemorial Mass of All Ages established since the Jubilee Year 2000, was abolished by Cardinal Santos Abril without replacement. Pope Francis has been friends with Cardinal Abril from the time when he was 2000-2003 nuncio in Argentina.

With Cardinal Abril, Bishop Milton Luis Troccoli Cebélio will perform the visitation from Montevideo. The Paraguayan Episcopal Conference announced the upcoming Apostolic Visitation at a specially convened press conference.

Diocese of Ciudad del Este "Oasis in the Modernist Morass"

Bishop Rogelio Liveires at March for Life in
Ciudad del Este

"The Diocese of Ciudad del Este is an oasis in the theological modernist morass of Latin America," said Messa in Latino. Bishop Livieres helped settle many traditional communities and start-ups in his diocese, which he offers "fatherly protection and spiritual retreat," said the tradition associated website. A diocesan priest from Ciudad del Este has written about the announced visitation by Rome: "It seems important to me, be noted that the prosecution does not proceed against the clergy of the diocese, where Don Rogerio Livieres is a popular and highly respected chief shepherd, but by other bishops who do not have his zeal. The attack comes from the commissions of the Episcopal Conference, led by progressives and where tradition and the Catholic faith is guided by the Bishop of Ciudad del Este, this is unbearable."

More Seminarians Than all Other Dioceses

Ten years after the appointment of Bishop Livieres, the fruits of his pastoral ministry are obvious. The Diocese of Ciudad del Este, which includes only twelve percent of Catholics, today with about 250 seminarians, has more seminarians than all other dioceses in Paraguay. Training in the diocesan seminary is know to be "truly Catholic in its doctrine and liturgy." As well known that other bishops are nervous about how demand the religious congregation in the case of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, and "counter-measures"?

Press Conference Announcing Pope Francis' Measures
Large archdioceses such as Buenos Aires and Montevideo have less than 30 seminarians. "That explains why the development in the Diocese of Ciudad del Este progressive parts of the church interfere," said Messa in Latino.

Bishop Complained to Archbishop of Asuncion About Aberrosexuality

The immediate occasion in which the visitation takes place right now, is likely to be a speech by Bishop Livieres which he gave in early June at the March for Life in his city. In it, he lamented with harsh words that the incumbent Archbishop of Asuncion, his Metropolitan, Eustaquio Pastor Cuquejo Verga has still not been removed from his office, despite the "existencia de pruebas concluyentes y coincidentes" [proven and demonstrable existence and coincidence] for his aberrosexuality. Archbishop Cuquejo, belonging to the Redemptorists, was still a Cardinal contender in 2002. He was appointed by Pope John Paul II as Auxiliary Bishop of Asuncion, first as interim from 1982 to 1889, and then officially appointed as archbishop in 1992. With the election of Pope Benedict XVI. this was withdrawn because of initial suspicions levied against Cuquejo, and a coadjutor was placed at his side in 2006. According to Bishop Livieres there was now no doubt. All Paraguay forms an ecclesiastical province. This attack on the highest representatives of the Catholic church in the country was strongly condemned by the General Secretariat of the Episcopal Conference and it demands an apology from Bishop Livieres. Which he refuses to do.

Not Two Months Later If a Visitation in Ciudad del Este Does Not Take Place in Asuncion

The Apostolic Visitation arranged by Pope Francis is set to take place from the 21-26th in July. One might entertain the hope that the Pope wants to make an accurate picture about why the diocese experienced such a bloom in vocations in order to eventually derive a model for the universal Church. Roman circles are trying to appease and to stress that the Apostolic Visitation is only serving the purpose to learn the diocesan relations and the local reality. A direct connection with the liturgy was not given. In traditional circles of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina, however, they are harboring fears. The announcement of the visit has rekindled painful memories of the Vatican action against the Franciscans of the Immaculate.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
 image: Pagina Catolica / Messa in Latino
Trans: Tancred

Sunday, March 30, 2014

"Former" SSJ Superior Monsignor Carlos Urrutigoity Now Second in Command of Paraguay Diocese

The bishop of the Diocese of Scranton will write a letter to Pope Francis warning about an alleged sexual predator priest  who has risen to second-in-command in a Paraguayan diocese.

Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, the present ordinary, in the Diocese the alleged predator was suspended,  is deeply concerned about this state of affairs and is reaffirming the previous ordinary, Bishop Martino.

In February, Monsignor  Urrutigoity was named the vicar general, second-in-command, in the Diocese Ciudad del Este in Paraguay. As a member of the Society of St. John, he was accused of sharing alcohol and a bed with students at St. Gregory's Academy in Elmhurst in 2004. He was not charged with a crime because of the statute of limitations, but there was a civil settlement.  Of course, SNAP is closely involved.

Bishop Martino, Bishop Bambero’s predecessor, has already expressed his own reservations about him. Although the Society of St. John was suspended in his Diocese, Bishop Bambera has no jurisdiction.  It’s difficult to believe that Father Urrutigoity’s ordinary wouldn’t have known about the present situation.  

 A review board, the Southdown Institute,  looked into the suitability of both clerics for the priestly life.  Father Eric Ensey was diagnosed with being sexually attracted to adolescent boys.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Marxist Bishop has Close Contacts with Terrorist Group

By MICHAEL WARREN (AP) – 7 hours ago

ASUNCION, Paraguay — When he was a Roman Catholic bishop, Fernando Lugo taught liberation theology to uplift the poor. Now he is president, he has sent special forces into Paraguay's northern forests to hunt kidnappers whose leaders include a former student and his former altar boy.

The ties between Lugo and the kidnappers of a wealthy rancher are providing fuel for an effort to impeach the president, whose election last year ended 61 years of unbroken right-wing Colorado Party rule. Lugo's government calls it a hypocritical campaign by politicians who committed far worse sins under the nation's long and brutal dictatorship.

Lugo, known as "bishop of the poor," [it's just PR] was elected in large part for his advocacy of liberation theology, a Catholic movement that found inspiration in faith to push for social change, though the Vatican suppressed many versions and discouraged its teaching. Lugo renounced his church vows, saying he could do more for the poor as president than as bishop. [A most honest response for anyone who embrace Liberation Theology to do is to leave the Church, for if this Communist thinks he can do more as a political organizer than as a Bishop, he truly does not understand the mission of the Church]

The kidnapping of rancher Fidel Zavala to finance what the band has called a revolutionary movement for the poor now threatens to turn Lugo's past against him, taking his nonviolent idealism in a criminal direction.

The kidnappers — a group linked to several bank robberies and other kidnappings in the past decade — showed up Oct. 15 on Zavala's ranch wearing military uniforms and calling themselves the Paraguayan People's Army.

The rancher's family pleaded with Lugo not to send in the police, fearing Zavala would be killed. But Lugo is in a tough spot. He is accused by critics on the right of coddling the kidnappers while those on the left say he has potentially violated the rights of poor forest dwellers by sending in police armed with U.S.-provided anti-terror equipment.

"Fernando Lugo continues to be deeply tied to the kidnappers," Colorado Party Sen. Juan Carlos Galaverna declared on television last week. He accused the president not only of mentoring the future kidnappers, but continuing to act as their "chief, or at least the protector of the band."

Interior Minister Rafael Filizzola told The Associated Press that the allegation "defies common sense."

"They're trying to stigmatize the Paraguayan left because of this, but the left has always been nonviolent," he said. "The violence came from (Alfredo) Stroessner, a right-wing dictatorship that tortured and killed. The violence never came from the left, nor the church."

Filizzola described the kidnappers as dangerous. On Monday he asked Paraguay's Congress for $1 million to finance the special forces' overtime and to pay for tips on Zavala's whereabouts.

"We have the objective of finding them, capturing them and making them face justice," he said.

The kidnappers' leader, Osvaldo Villalba, has been a fugitive since 2001 after claiming a $2 million ransom to release the daughter-in-law of a former economy minister. Police later recovered $600,000 and arrested several members of the group, including his sister Carmen Villalba, who is among about 40 people serving long prison terms.

The Villalbas — eight brothers and sisters in all — were raised in poverty by a mother who trained as a nun in Europe and promoted liberation theology while working for a bishop who, like Lugo, provided some refuge to opponents of the brutal 1954-89 dictatorship.

While Lugo denies knowing any of the kidnappers personally, Monsignor Adalberto Martinez of Lugo's San Pedro diocese acknowledged that several probably studied in the seminary directed by Lugo in the 1990s. Osvaldo Villalba's brother Jose also told the AP that one of the leaders was Lugo's seminary student, and a former kidnapper, Dionisio Olazar, said another member of the band, Manuel Cristaldo Mieres, served as Lugo's altar boy.

According to Interior Minister Filizzola, the People's Army comprises a core of about 20 uniformed combatants with military training and heavy weapons, a larger group whose members hold day jobs but sometimes participate in crimes and a much larger group of backers who occasionally provide logistical support.

Filizzola rejects the idea that liberation theology inspired the gang to become kidnappers, and says there is little evidence of any guiding ideology since they began calling themselves guerrillas. [Denying the clear and obvious truth, since Lugo's former seminary students and an altar boy belong to the organization]

But the group clearly expresses political goals in pamphlets and statements delivered anonymously to local journalists. "We will look for radical and revolutionary changes, the only way to dignify the suffering and hunger of our poor people," one reads. [The same rhetoric of Liberation Theology]

Jose Villalba, a carpenter who also raises chickens and pigs on his subsistence farm, says armed revolution is a necessary response to extreme poverty.

"This president promised us poor people during his campaign that he would bring change, but now that he's in power, he doesn't do a thing," Villalba said by telephone from the village of Santa Rosa.

Lugo's opponents have cited Zavala's kidnapping as evidence of a "failure to fulfill his presidential duties," a vague but impeachable offense in Paraguay.

There were more than a dozen high-profile kidnappings during the previous president's tenure, and no one pushed for impeachment then, but the threat is real in Lugo's case because he has so little support in Congress — only three sure votes among 125 lawmakers.

Filizzola said using the Zavala case to push for Lugo's ouster "is an act of opportunism for the same people who supported the dictatorship, who supported political assassinations, tortures, persecutions."

Associated Press Writer Pedro Servin contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Former Bishop Fernando Lugo dismisses Commanders admid Coup fears

CNN) -- Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo on Wednesday ordered the replacement of top military commanders, a day after publicly dismissing rumors circulating the capital about a military coup.

The announcement came from the armed forces themselves, not the president's office.

In his capacity as commander-in-chief, Lugo named replacements for the heads of the army, air force and navy, according to a statement from the armed forces.

Read further...