“Church not helping Peru on pedophilia inquiry into bishop: prosecutor” & related articles

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reuters.com

LIMA | Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:19pm EDT

(Reuters) – The Catholic Church has yet to help authorities in Peru who are investigating whether a defrocked bishop sexually abused children before Pope Francis forced him from his post in a poor Andean region, a prosecutor said on Thursday.

On September 20, the attorney general’s office opened an investigation into Gabino Miranda, until recently the auxiliary bishop of Ayacucho in southern Peru, after a prominent bishop said the Church had kicked Miranda out of the clergy because of suspected pedophilia.

No one has filed any formal complaints against Miranda, who has denied wrongdoing with minors through intermediaries, and it is unclear where he is now.

Garry Chavez, the prosecutor leading the investigation, said church officials based in Peru and in Vatican City have yet to respond to several requests for details about the case.

“The fact is they have not given us any information so far, despite our summons,” Chavez told Reuters. “What we are going to do now is reiterate to them that the law requires their cooperation.”

The president of Peru’s bishop conference, Salvador Pineiro, said in a statement on Thursday that he supports the investigation and hopes it will reveal the truth soon.

Pineiro, who is also Archbishop of Ayacucho and oversaw Miranda for two years, said all he knows about the case is that on July 5 he was notified Pope Francis was discharging Miranda because of “sins against the sixth commandment, in a process subject to pontifical secrecy.”

The Bible’s sixth commandment – “thou shalt not commit adultery” – is interpreted by Catholics as encompassing a variety of other sexual offenses, from pornography and gay sex to child molestation.

Shortly after becoming pope in March, Francis directed the Vatican to act quickly when clergymen are suspected of sexually abusing children, and vowed to punish pedophiles in the Church.

In a letter to the Vatican dated July 1 – made public by Peruvian TV program Panorama – Miranda admitted to having been “imprudent” but said he did not defy the sixth commandment.

“I do not know the crimes I am accused of,” Miranda wrote. “I do not where those who accuse me come from, the jurisdiction and when the crimes were supposedly committed.”

Miranda headed a national youth group for the Church, and was known for performing Mass in the indigenous Quechua language.

Lima’s outspoken Archbishop Luis Cipriani, a member of the same conservative Catholic group Miranda is linked to – Opus Dei – said it was in poor taste for the former president of Peru’s bishop conference, Bishop Emeritus Luis Bambaren, to condemn Miranda and tell reporters he was removed as part of the pope’s tougher stance on pedophile priests.

Cipriani emphasized mercy.

“Let’s not make firewood out of a fallen tree,” Cipriani said in a weekly radio address on Saturday.

Cipriani met with Francis in Rome on Monday.

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Peru: Ex-bishop accused of sex abuse admitted acting “imprudently”

By Rachel Chase

In a letter to church officials, Ayacucho priest Miranda denied criminal activity but admitted to making mistakes in judgment.

Peru: Ex-bishop accused of sex abuse admitted acting "imprudently"
(Photo: Peru21)

A letter written by former Auxiliary Bishop of Ayacucho, Gabino Miranda is shedding some light on the reasons for his recent removal. Miranda, who was dismissed from his post as auxiliary bishop in the Peruvian city of Ayacucho, has been accused of sexually abusing children. Miranda denies any criminal activity.

At this time, not much is known about the exact nature of the allegations, but a Peruvian church official confirmed to the press that Miranda’s removal was a result of new Pope Francis’s “zero tolerance” policy for sex offenders.

However, a newly revealed letter written by Miranda to church officials in Rome has provided some insight into the case. According to Peru21, the July 1 letter was sent as part of Miranda’s effort to appeal the Vatican’s decision to remove him from his post. In it, Miranda writes “I recognize that in some circumstances I have been imprudent […] but furthermore, I reiterate that in the conscience and presence of God, the supposed offenses cannot be characterized as crimes against the [sixth commandment].” The sixth commandment prohibits sexual activity outside of the bounds of marriage.

As Peru21 reports, Miranda clearly felt that his punishment was unjust. “I’m surprised by the disproportionate sanctions in the [decree], which certainly do not have just cause.” Miranda also claimed that he did not know the “origin of the accusers, the jurisdiction, and the time in which the supposed crimes were committed.”

Authorities in Ayacucho have opened an official investigation into the matter.

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Bishop removed in Ayacucho, Peru after alleged sex abuse

By Rachel Chase

Catholic church acted swiftly; ex-bishop Gabino denies criminal activity.

Bishop removed in Ayacucho, Peru after alleged sex abuse
(Photo: El Comercio/YouTube)

Gabino Miranda, auxiliary bishop in Ayacucho, Peru, has been removed from his post after allegations surfaced that he sexually abused children. Little is known at this point about the nature or number of the accusations, but church officials have confirmed to the press that Miranda’s dismissal was the result of allegations of sex abuse.

Bishop Emeritus of Chimbote Luis Bambarén told RPP Noticias that the swift action by church authorities can be credited to Pope Francis strict policies on sex abuse scandals: “It’s what the pope said— zero tolerance […] Those are very serious crimes, especially when it has to do with a bishop.”

Though early reports indicated that Miranda was a member of the ultra-conservative Catholic order Opus Dei (made famous by Dan Brown’s novel “The Da Vinci Code”), the organization denies official involvement with Miranda. In a statement to Reuters, Opus Dei said that Miranda had benefited from “spiritual assistance” from a related organization, but stated definitively that “Gabino Miranda has never been incardinated in the clergy of Prelature of Opus Dei.” The statement added that Miranda “denies any crime related to minors.”

Andina news agency reports that that legal authorities in Ayacucho have opened a formal investigation into the matter. According to RPP, Miranda, 53, was known for performing mass in Quechua.

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Peruvian aux. bishop removed for sex abuse

National Catholic Reporter

21 September 2013

An auxiliary bishop in Peru has been quietly removed from office because of allegations of sexual abuse of minors.In a move resembling the case of a papal ambassador to the Dominican Republic, who also was quietly remove from office for abuse allegations, neither the Vatican nor the local bishops’ conference announced the dismissal of Gabino Miranda, auxiliary bishop in the dioceses of Ayacucho, a poor Andean region in southern Peru.

In Peru, local media learned of Miranda’s dismissal and asked church officials for comments Sept. 20. The officials confirmed the dismissal but would not  say when it happened or why. Later local prosecutors said they were investigating Miranda.

A retired bishop, Luis Bambaren, a former president of Peru’s bishops’ conference, final revealed to local media that Miranda’s dismissal was because of sex abuse of minors.

“It is what the Pope said – zero tolerance,” Bambaren told a local radio station. “Those are very serious crimes, especially when it has to do with a bishop.”

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In the Dominican Republic, the Aug. 21 recall of papal nuncio, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, was not announced by the Vatican or local church authorities until some two weeks after he was gone when the nation’s attorney general said he would investigate claims of sexual abuse against the nuncio.

Miranda is incommunicado, but Opus Dei in Peru said that Miranda has denied the abuse allegations.

Miranda is not an Opus Dei member, but he has received “spiritual assistance” from an organization closely linked to Opus Dei – the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross.

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Vatican removes deputy bishop in Peru after sex abuse allegations

reuters.com

LIMA | Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:18pm EDT

(Reuters) – The Vatican, under Pope Francis’ “zero-tolerance” policy for pedophile priests, removed an auxiliary bishop from his post in a Peruvian province because of allegations he sexually abused children, a bishop said on Friday.

Luis Bambaren, the former president of Peru’s bishops’ conference and bishop emeritus of Chimbote, told local media that Gabino Miranda was dismissed as auxiliary bishop in the dioceses of Ayacucho, a poor Andean region in southern Peru, after he was accused of having sexual relations with minors.

“It is what the Pope said – zero tolerance,” Bambaren said on RPP radio. “Those are very serious crimes, especially when it has to do with a bishop.”

A Church official confirmed to Reuters that Miranda, 53, had resigned from Peru’s bishops’ conference but declined to say why.

The attorney general’s office said on Friday that it was investigating Miranda and would announce actions soon.

Reuters was not able to reach Miranda for comment, but conservative Catholic group Opus Dei said that Miranda has denied the abuse allegations.

“He denies any crime related to minors,” Opus Dei in Peru said in a statement on Friday.

The group said that while Miranda had received “spiritual assistance” from an organization closely linked to Opus Dei – the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross – Miranda is not a member of Opus Dei.

“Gabino Miranda has never been incardinated in the clergy of Prelature of Opus Dei,” the statement said.

Shortly after becoming pope in March, Francis directed the Vatican to act quickly when clergymen are suspected of sexually abusing children, and vowed to punish pedophiles in the Church.

Francis has set a new tone in a Church beset by scandals with his informal style and emphasis on helping the poor instead of criticizing homosexuality, contraception and abortion.

In a dramatically blunt interview published on Thursday by an Italian Jesuit journal, Francis said the Church had “locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules” and should not be so prone to condemn.

Local media reported that last week Francis met with Peruvian priest Gustavo Gutierrez, considered a key founder of the liberation theology movement popular in the 1970s that urged clergy to take active roles in improving the lot of the poor.

(Reporting By Mitra Taj and Marco Aquino)

1 Response to “Church not helping Peru on pedophilia inquiry into bishop: prosecutor” & related articles

  1. Sylvia says:

    Another mess with tap dancing +++

    The good and welcome news of course is that Bishop has been removed. That’s good. From what I can see, contrary to media reports, Bishop Miranda has NOT been defrocked: he has been removed from his office as Auxiliary Bishop.

    The bad news is all of the nonsense coming out of Church officials in Peru. I believe we can all rest assured that if the powers that be in the Vatican decided that Miranda is not fit to function as a bishop they must have hard enough to comple them to take such action.

    Bishop Emeritus Miranda claims he doesn’t know what he is accused of.

    Archbishop of Ayacucho says all he knows is Miranda was ousted because of “sins against the sixth commandment, in a process subject to pontifical secrecy.”

    Archbishop Cipriani, who according to media reports is a member of Opus Dei, chastises the President to the Peruvian conference of bishops for telling reporters Miranda was removed as part of the Pope tough stance on paedophile priests .

    And then Opus Dei dances on the head of the proverbial pin denying that Miranda is a “member” of Opus Dei becuase he has never been incardinated in the organization, but acknowledges that the former auxiliary bishop did receive “spiritual assistance” through the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross.

    The Priestly Society of the Holy Cross is operated by Opus Dei, and ‘caters’ to diocesan or ordered priests who are not members of Opus Dei in the sense that they are not incardinated in the Personal Prelature but do receive regular spiritual direction from Opus Dei priests and go to confession to Opus Dei Priests and participate in Opus Dei retreats and so on.

    What quibbling. No matter, Mirando is incommunicado, – but Opus Dei in Peru report that he has denied the allegations.

    So where oh where is the disgraced prelate?

    I hope and pray that whoever has reported Mirando to Church officials will go to police so that justice can be done both in and out of the Church.

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