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Heterodox LA bishop resigns January 5, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, General Catholic, sadness, scandals.

It’s difficult to be a bishop when you’re also a father of two illegitimate kids:

The pope has accepted the early resignation of a Los Angeles bishop who recently acknowledged being the father of two teenagers.

Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Zavala, 60, resigned Wednesday under the code of canon law that lets bishops step down earlier than the normal retirement age of 75 if they’re sick or for some other reason that makes them unfit for office.

In a letter to the faithful, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez said Zavala had told him in December that he had two children who lived with their mother in a different state. Zavala subsequently submitted his resignation to the pope.

Bishop Zavala has been mentioned on this blog in the past – once, for his outspoken criticism of Catholic blogs, while at the same time playing footsie with the generally heterodox US Catholic, Distorter, etc.  He was a well known and outspoken liberal.  He was big in PaxChristi. I pray for his sincere repentance and conversion, and pray for a much better auxiliary for LA. 

Is there any relation between left wing heterodoxy and inability to remain faithful to priestly vows?  Some data says yes, but you can always find “orthodox” priests who fail in this regard. 



1. Jim - January 7, 2012

I am glad that you covered this story here. It made me a little upset, and I was even more upset when a news outlet covered it with some quotes from a priest who is a known dissenter.

What I don’t know is how long Bp. Zavala was able to hide this. If his children are teenagers, that’s at least 13 years. Someone must have known about this beforehand, and after reading about Bp. Zavala, it sounds as if he was involved with some Call to Action type groups. Recently, I found that a former priest that I knew as a kid in my hometown (who left to marry circa 1998) had been involved with one or two dissenting groups as well (as a kid, I wouldn’t have known the difference between the dissenting and orthodox groups).

I’m glad this was discovered (in my opinion only, most likely by Abp. Gomez) and that he was turned in quietly.

However, I don’t think the Archdiocese of Los Angeles should help fund his children’s college fund. Not to be mean, but I say this because I know some GOOD priests who were “later vocations” or former Episcopalians who came in under the Pastoral Priviledge. Many of these priests had to wait to either enter seminary (a later vocation) or begin the appropriate steps under the Pastoral Priviledge until financial obligations with their children were cleared (i.e., over 22 and out of the house). I know some dioceses stress this for “later vocations”.

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