Letter to Pax Christi members following bishop's resignation

by Joshua J. McElwee

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In a statement this morning, the leadership of Pax Christi USA reacts to the news yesterday that their bishop-president, Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Zavala, has resigned from ministry after acknowledging he is the father of two teenage children:

Dear Pax Christi USA members, partners and friends,

It is with great sadness that we write to you today about the resignation of Bishop Gabino Zavala. Pax Christi USA learned of Bishop Zavala's resignation yesterday. In a letter addressed to Catholics in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (where Bishop Zavala was an auxiliary bishop), Archbishop Jose Gomez stated that Bishop Zavala's letter of resignation was accepted by the Vatican after he had disclosed that he is "the father of two minor teenage children who live with their mother in another state."

Bishop Zavala has served as bishop-president of Pax Christi USA for the past 9 years and had been a bishop member for many years prior to his time in leadership. We are grateful for his past leadership and for his long-time witness to peace and justice as a member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Bishop Zavala consistently brought the power of the gospel to bear on issues like immigration, worker rights, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and nuclear disarmament.

This past year saw the completion of Bishop Zavala's third term as bishop-president of Pax Christi USA. The search for his replacement was already underway and will continue. We hope to announce the selection of a new bishop-president in the coming weeks.

During this time of personal hardship, we offer our prayers for Bishop Zavala, his family, and all those affected by this news. We pray that the privacy of all those impacted will be respected and that all will experience God's mercy and compassion during this difficult time.
In peace,

Sr. Josie Chrosniak, HM
National Council Chair, Pax Christi USA

Sr. Patty Chappell, SNDdeN
Executive Director, Pax Christi USA

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