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Pope Francis Fires Bishop at Center of Child Abuse Cover-Up Scandal

By    |   Friday, 26 Sep 2014 08:58 AM

Pope Francis has fired the Bishop of Ciudad del Este, Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, following a Vatican investigation into his alleged cover-up of sexual abuse perpetrated by an Argentinian-born priest on children in the U.S.

"After a careful examination of the findings of the Apostolic Visitations made to the Bishop, dioceses and seminaries of Ciudad del Este, by the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for the Clergy, the Holy Father has proceeded with the replacement of Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano," read a statement released by the Vatican.

"He has appointed Ricardo Jorge Valenzuela Ríos, Bishop of Villarrica del Espíritu Santo, as Apostolic Adminostrator of the now vacant diocese."

Francis:Pope’s Hidden Life Revealed.

According to NBC News, Livieres Plano, 69, defended himself, arguing that he did not protect priest Carlos Urrutigoity.

Urrutigoity was accused in 2002 of abusing minors in Scranton, Pennsylvania, which led to a more than $400,000 settlement with the victims in 2006. Livieres Plano argued that he approved a transfer of Urrutigoity at the recommendation of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI). Days before Ratzinger was elected Pope in 2005, he said the allegations against Urrutigoity were "slander."

The Vatican did not give a reason for its "grave decision" to fire the bishop, but highlighted the fact that he did not resign.

"Ousting a corrupt bishop beats accepting a corrupt bishop’s resignation," said Barbara Dorris, outreach director of the Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests, according to The Daily Beast.

Francis:Pope’s Hidden Life Revealed.

"Still, it’s not healthy to leave everyone speculating about the real reasons why the bishop was ousted. Kids are safer when those who risk their safety are quickly, harshly, publicly, and clearly punished. That hasn’t happened here."

Nonetheless, the firing does seem to make good on Pope Francis' promise to rid the church of all sexual abuse with a zero-tolerance policy.

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Pope Francis has fired the Bishop of Ciudad del Este, Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, following a Vatican investigation into his alleged cover-up of sexual abuse perpetrated by an Argentinian-born priest on children in the U.S.
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2014-58-26
Friday, 26 Sep 2014 08:58 AM
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