Pope Francis dismissed pedophile priest in Argentina from clerical state

Via AP

Pope excommunicates pedophile Argentine priest [Perhaps he was just dismissed from the clerical state? On the Diocesan site we read: El Obispado de San Isidro comunica que el Santo Padre ha decretado la dimisión del Pbro. José Mercau del estado clerical. Por este decreto ha perdido automáticamente los derechos propios del estado clerical, quedando privado de todo el ejercicio del Ministerio sacerdotal.]

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Pope Francis has excommunicated a pedophile Argentine priest, a move applauded by advocates for victims of clerical abuse. [Was he also excommunicated?]

The pope’s decision was made public Wednesday by the bishopric [Diocese] of San Isidro on the outskirts of the Argentine capital.

Many welcomed the news, but victims and advocates of clergy sex abuse said the Roman Catholic Church still needs to be more determined, effective and severe when it comes to punishing such crimes in Argentina. [I don’t think that an  auto-da-fé is an option anymore, except perhaps for those who insist on defending the Church’s tradition and doctrine.  Really.  What more can the Church do but perhaps impose excommunication?  The Church can’t imprison anyone.]

“The church still has a long way to go,” said Sebastian Cuattromo, director of an advocacy group called Adults for the Rights of Infancy.

The policies of Pope Francis “are being carried out because of the long fight by the victims,” said Cuattromo, who was sexually abused by a priest in Buenos Aires at age 13. [NB: No credit to Pope Francis.  It’s the victims who made it happen.  However, the norms seem to be those of Benedict XVI.]

His advocacy group includes several adults who were abused by clergy when they were underage and who now try to raise awareness and protect children from predator priests. Cuattromo made his case public in 2012 after the priest who abused him was sentenced to 13 years in prison. “I’ve felt abandoned by the church,” he said.

Abuse victims and their advocates have long demanded that higher-ups be made to answer for the decades-long cover-ups of rape and molestation of youngsters in a scandal that has rocked the church and dismayed its worldwide flock of 1.2 billion.

Earlier this year, Pope Francis begged forgiveness in his first meeting with Catholics sexually abused by members of the clergy and went further than any of his predecessors by promising [went further?] to hold bishops accountable for their handling of pedophile priests.

The decision to punish Mercau “has taken way too long,” said Patricia Gordon, a psychologist for EnRed, a group that focuses on victims of violence and sex abuse. “But it’s still important because of the reparation to the victims, meaning that their words are taken as the truth.”  [It’s reparation that means “we believe you”, and not the public words “we believe you”?]

Both Cuattromo and Gordon still criticized the Vatican for failing to excommunicate Julio Cesar Grassi, a pedophile priest who was sentenced to 15 years in jail in 2009.

I am glad that these ******** are being dismissed from the clerical state and maybe also excommunicated, though it seems that the news report got that wrong.  Big surprise there. At the same time, we know that, no matter what the Church does, some will never be satisfied.  Sad.

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  1. The actual announcement is here and seems to say that José Mercau was dismissed from the clerical state, rather than that he was excommunicated. [RIGHT!]

    5 de noviembre de 2014

    El Obispado de San Isidro comunica que el Santo Padre ha decretado la dimisión del Pbro. José Mercau del estado clerical.

    Por este decreto ha perdido automáticamente los derechos propios del estado clerical, quedando privado de todo el ejercicio del Ministerio sacerdotal.


    Pbro. Máximo Jurcinovic
    Vocero del Obispado de San Isidro

  2. Kathleen10 says:

    It’s a truly heinous crime, to touch a child or young person with ill intent. It is a crime that cries out to heaven for justice. To consider a priest or bishop involved is so ugly it is difficult to even imagine it, but we have to since it has happened. The reasons why this has happened has not yet been acknowledged as far as I know. The findings of the John Jay study demonstrated the reason why, but how much backpedaling there is to avoid it. About 81% of the victims over many decades were (are) male. Connect those dots.
    I have never heard of what seminaries are now doing to make as certain as they can that seminarians have a heterosexual orientation. Certainly any “pink palaces” need to be dismantled.

  3. LeeF says:

    Father said: I am glad that these ******** are being dismissed from the clerical state ….

    Most folks are familiar with the computer term “garbage in, garbage out.” So the Church is and has been getting rid of the garbage. But what is it doing to make sure that no more garbage goes in? You can give prospective seminarians all the psychological tests you want, but if doctrinal orthodoxy and a devout life are not the real litmus tests, then the process is more prone to fail to weed out those needing to be weeded out.

  4. robtbrown says:


    In religious orders and seminaries psychological tests have habitually been used to get rid of people they don’t like.

    I met one American priest who talked to his index finger. What would Dr Freud make of that?

  5. JPK says:

    Yes, the cover-ups, pay-outs, etc… were almost as bad as the crimes themselves. And we should thank Pope Benedict for his actions as both a Cdl and Bishop of Rome. During the late 1990s his was a lone voice warning about this rot. But, we shouldn’t forget that one of the features of Vatican II was the greater freedom Bishops were given to manager and administer their dioceses as they saw fit without undue interference from the Vatican. Many of the same people who blame the Vatican for not moving quick enough concerning the priest abuses are the same people who pushed for greater diocesan and national autonomy – for years it was all about decentralization. They can’t have it both ways.

    The damage done to the victims cannot be measured. The crimes actually cross over and touch so many areas of Catholic life, theology, doctrine and practice. But they all seem to spring from our understanding of the 6th Commandment. I am reminded of several lay activists who ask, “What does an old priest know about married life? How does he know what we’re going through?” As if the priest sprang forth out of the ground without a mother, father, sisters, or brothers. Christ Himself was fully human and was chaste. But, that didn’t prevent him from saying to the adulteress, “Go and sin no more.” The chaos that was known as the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, the prevalence of adulterer and divorce within Catholic families, the cohabitation of Catholic couples, and the spread of homosexual activism inside the Church these last several decades are all rooted in own our deformed understanding of sexuality.

    I read quite a bit of history and one of the things that struck me about the Roman Empire during the time of Christ was how absolutely different the sex lives of the Roman subjects were compared to that of the Hebrews of Judea. Homosexuality, bi-sexuality, matricide, temple prostitutes infanticide, as well as concubinage (slave owners were allowed to sleep with their slaves), and male prostitution (which for a time was just as prevalent in Rome than female prostitution). This was the scene when Christ and His Disciples walked the earth and began their evangelization. Rome changed because Christianity changed the sexual mores of its subjects (and eventually its rulers) changed. In a blink of an eye (less than 300 years) a social revolution took place that forever changed History. The Christian Family was the capstone of revolution. This is why I believe sexual practices are just as important if not more important than biology. Homosexuality can be inculturated. Perhaps there is a “gay” gene. But, I think homosexuality has more to do with culture than an individual. Ancient Rome and Greece are prime examples.

    I hope the day comes when besides Catholic parents that the priests and bishops regularly teach the Truth concerning not only what is prohibited or allowed, but why. But Parents must stay together and live out their vocations. In many ways this is the best teaching for children. It is so simple, but obviously the most difficult way to evangelize.

  6. Sonshine135 says:

    I’m a little surprised that Pope Francis didn’t consider that the pedophile priest “ought to be received with respect and sensitivity”. After all “Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided”.

    Where was the pastoral attention?

    Tongue firmly in cheek.

  7. marcelus says:

    I saw him inthenews being escorted away by police officers handcuffed, so I believe he may spend a long time in the shadows..

  8. Pingback: Father Z: Pope Francis dismissed pedophile priest in Argentina from clerical state | CatholicChatter.com

  9. Elizium23 says:

    In this case, the victims were boys between 11-14. So it is possible that the “pedophile” epithet fits. It depends on the time of puberty, though, and I am tired of the media slinging around the epithet as if the whole sexual abuse scandal was all about pedophilia. It wasn’t, it was an extremely small percentage. The vast majority of cases were pederasty, adults abusing adolescent boys. But the media won’t admit that because it would imply there is something wrong with homosexuality, and implying that is fundamentally opposed to the agenda of the mainstream media!

  10. eulogos says:

    I hope that the Church makes its own investigation and does not just accept the verdicts of secular trials, before it removes such priests from the clerical state. Anyone who has read the blog “These Stone Walls” will know how much celebrating mass means to a priest unjustly accused and in prison. Before he received permission to say mass (it is difficult to get permission to have any amount of alcohol, even liturgial wine, in a prison), Fr. Gordon McRae sat in his upper bunk in a dormitory like situation and said ‘dry masses’ as prayer. This brought tears to my eyes when I read it and it does again as I write about it.

    Please let us remember that being accused doesn’t mean a priest actually did anything, and sometimes even being convicted does not, yet just being accused can destroy a priest. I know one priest who was exonerated in a criminal trial but is still fighting civil suits, and who says that even when those are done, insurance companies will likely prevent his diocese from reinstating him. Please pray for priests unjustly accused.

    Susan Peterson

  11. AnnTherese says:

    An adult abusing an adolescent is as horrible as abusing a child. Knowing about such abuse and ignoring it or covering it up– disgusting. So much healing needed in our Church… for victims, their families and communities, and perpetrators.

  12. johnnycuredents says:

    The mention of Gordon McRae, now sitting in a NH prison cell, reminds me that there are indeed unjustly accused priests — I know one who fought the accusation and who was exonerated in Rome — but that McRae is definitely NOT among them. Wipe away all the conspiracy theories dear to those who defend McRae, and any sensible person will realize that in his case at least, justice was most certainly done.

    I suggest that anyone who thinks (there are many who do) that homosexual pedophilia in the Church is a recent problem read the 2014 book The Pope And Mussolini by David Kertzer. I did not find the story recounted there of Pius XI’s support for Mussolini especially shocking. But what did surprise and depress me terribly was to learn that back then, in the 1920s, there were pedophile cardinals and priests operating in the Vatican (this was of course before the Concordat) and that Pope Pius XI discovered this to be the case. In at least one instance his “solution” to the problem was to order cessation of all conversation concerning the matter among those working at the Holy See! Nihil novi sub sole.

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