Archbishop’s resignation echoes Bishop of Bling saga

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a Brazilian archbishop in a move reminiscent of the demise of Germany’s Bishop of Bling.

The resignation of Archbishop Antonio Carlos Altieri, 63, of Passo Fundo, Brazil, came after a Vatican-ordered apostolic visitation of his archdiocese.

The investigation was conducted by Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes.

According to a Brazilian media report, local clergy complained to the apostolic nuncio following a US$600,000 renovation of the episcopal residence as well as renovations to a seminary, chancery, and a retreat house.

Priests also opposed the imposition of a 10 per cent diocesan assessment on parish income.

Archbishop Altieri’s alleged “rubricism” and “ritualism” in the liturgy also drew complaints.

And his willingness to accept seminarians who had left other dioceses and religious orders was also questioned, according to the report.

In a letter announcing his resignation, the archbishop apologised to anyone he may have offended.

In March, 2014, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of German Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, who was dubbed “the Bishop of Bling” after revelations that the price tag on renovations to his home and diocesan offices had skyrocketed to some US$40 million.

Another episcopal resignation was noted by a Vatican bulletin on June 25.

It announced the resignation of Bishop Gonzalo Galvan Castillo, 64, of the Autlan diocese in Mexico.

Mexican media noted that the bishop had been under fire for years for refusing to report to police or remove from ministry a priest, Fr Horacio Lopez, suspected of abuse.

In 2009, a 24-year-old man identified only as Eric reported to Bishop Galvan that Fr Lopez had sexually molested him when Eric was 11.

Eric’s parents also demanded that Bishop Galvan take action to prevent the priest from harming other children, but the bishop reportedly transferred Fr Lopez to another parish.

The priest’s current whereabouts are not known.


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