Peruvian aux. bishop removed for sex abuse

by Dennis Coday

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An auxiliary bishop in Peru has been quietly removed from office because of allegations of sexual abuse of minors.

In a move resembling the case of a papal ambassador to the Dominican Republic, who also was quietly remove from office for abuse allegations, neither the Vatican nor the local bishops’ conference announced the dismissal of Gabino Miranda, auxiliary bishop in the dioceses of Ayacucho, a poor Andean region in southern Peru.

In Peru, local media learned of Miranda’s dismissal and asked church officials for comments Sept. 20. The officials confirmed the dismissal but would not  say when it happened or why. Later local prosecutors said they were investigating Miranda.

A retired bishop, Luis Bambaren, a former president of Peru's bishops' conference, final revealed to local media that Miranda’s dismissal was because of sex abuse of minors.

"It is what the Pope said - zero tolerance," Bambaren told a local radio station. "Those are very serious crimes, especially when it has to do with a bishop."

In the Dominican Republic, the Aug. 21 recall of papal nuncio, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, was not announced by the Vatican or local church authorities until some two weeks after he was gone when the nation's attorney general said he would investigate claims of sexual abuse against the nuncio.

Miranda is incommunicado, but Opus Dei in Peru said that Miranda has denied the abuse allegations.

Miranda is not an Opus Dei member, but he has received "spiritual assistance" from an organization closely linked to Opus Dei - the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross.

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