Lima’s Cardinal Jean Luis Cipriani contests and questions the Vatican’s removal of the Auxiliary Bishop of Ayaucho from his role. “He wasn’t given the chance to defend himself,” Cipriani said
The Vatican Insider La Stamp
07 November 2013
The accusations made against the 53 year old Auxiliary Bishop of Ayaucho (Peru), Gabino Miranda Melgarejo, who is suspected of sexually abusing minors, are apparently part of a setup. This serious claim was made by Cardinal Jean Luis Cipriani, in reference to the scandal involving one of the Peruvian bishops he considers closest to him. Cipriani,who is a member of the Opus Dei, openly stated that he believed he was the target of this set-up given that the scandal exploded just as he was due to travel to Rome to attend an audience with Pope Francis. Although Miranda was not a direct member of the Opus Dei he received “spiritual assistance” from an organisation closely linked to Opus Dei – the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross.
“Each of us needs to show strength in dealing with our weaknesses, recognising them and asking for forgiveness. We have nothing to hide but I don’t think “I don’t think banishing someone who hasn’t had the chance to defend himself, taking advantage of my visit to Rome and announcing things that have nothing to do with me is a very honest thing to do,” Cipriani told Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
Lima’s Cardinal Cipriani assured the public that the Church would never hush things up but added that the accusations launched against Mgr. Gabino Miranda who has been blamed of allegedly abusing minors are part of a set-up aimed at discrediting him in the eyes of the public. Up until a short time ago, Bishop Gabino Miranda had been auxiliary to the President of the Peruvian Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Salvador Piñeiro García-Calderón. It was the Bishop Emeritus of Chimbote, Luis Bambarén, who announced the news about the Vatican’s investigation into the prelate’s actions. He confirmed Gabino Miranda’s dismissal saying that “abuse of minors by an Auxiliary Bishop of Ayacucho cannot be tolerated.”The local Church apparently asked the civil authorities to intervene.
Cipriani said that the “organised campaign” was begun by the President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Diego García Sayán, in an article published on 19 September in La Repubblica newspaper. “Let’s not be naive. Taking part in this circus means giving it too much importance. I want to put an end to this perfectly organised circus,” Cardinal Cipriani said.
On 1 July, Bishop Gabino Miranda sent a letter to the Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Luis Ladaria, denying the accusations and claiming he was being accused unfairly by the Vatican courts. However, he also stated that last February he had sent a letter to Benedict XVI confessing that he had acted imprudently but that these “alleged shortcomings could not be classified as crimes”. He therefore claimed that the measures which the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith took against him were “excessive”. The On 24 May 2013 the Congregation stripped him of all his Episcopal duties and banned him from performing any functions related to the position of Auxiliary Bishop of Ayacucho.
The Congregation’s decision is serious and the fact that it was taken means that the former Holy Office holds enough evidence to prove the bishop is guilty, even though he claims otherwise. The Miranda scandal is not the only one plaguing the Peruvian Episcopate over the past few months. On 20 July Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Peru Military Bishop Guillermo Abanto Guzmán who was only nominated to the position in October 2012. No explanation was given but the bishop apparently had a son.
The storm which has swiftly dragged in two members of the Peruvian Episcopate, both considered close to Cardinal Cipriani, could impact the internal balances within the Peruvian Bishops’ Conference.
This is a bigger mess than I thought!
Now Cardinal Cipriani thinks he is somehow being targeted by whomever, and the news of the Bishop Miranda scandal was deliberately unleashed to coincide with his, the Cardinal’s, trip to see Pope Francis in Rome?
This just gets more and more ridiculous.
“’I don’t think banishing someone who hasn’t had the chance to defend himself, taking advantage of my visit to Rome and announcing things that have nothing to do with me is a very honest thing to do,’ Cipriani told Italian newspaper La Repubblica.”
Help me, please make sense of this nonsense, please!