I suspect there’s more to this story than this story suggests. Nevertheless, it is a sign of the dopiness of the times we are enduring, that a priest, soon-to-be bishop can be dismissed for something as insignificant as this.
From The Guardian: (my emphases and comments)
Chile bishop resigns after suggesting there is a reason the Last Supper had no women
Carlos Eugenio Irarrazaval stands down, weeks after appointment by pope to clean up church’s public image
A Chilean auxiliary bishop appointed by Pope Francis less than a month ago has resigned, just weeks after he made controversial comments about the lack of women in attendance at the Last Supper. [Hang on. What’s the timing of this? He was named to be bishop, but, before he was consecrated he made comments about women. But, were the comments made before or after his public nomination to be a bishop?]
Carlos Eugenio Irarrazaval was appointed by the pope in an effort to rebuild the church’s credibility following a pervasive sex abuse scandal that exposed hundreds of allegations now being investigated by Chilean criminal prosecutors.
The archdiocese of Santiago did not specify the reasons for Irarrazaval’s departure in its statement, but said the pope had accepted the bishop’s resignation “in favour of unity and for the good of the church”.
The bishop’s [NOT!] short tenure began with a television interview in May, in which he said there were no women seated at the table at the Last Supper and that “we have to respect that”.
“Jesus Christ made decisions and they were not ideological … and we want to be faithful to Jesus Christ,” he said in reference to the lack of women in attendance. [So far so good.]
He also said that perhaps women “like to be in the back room”. [Is that really that terrible? In Italy, I was often at gatherings where the men were over here and the women were over there.]
According to the Bible, the Last Supper was Jesus’ last meal with his disciples before his crucifixion, depicted in many famous works of art. [The Last Supper! It’s FAMOUS!]
The comments sparked a backlash among women’s groups and critics of the church in Chile at a time when confidence in church leadership in the once staunchly Catholic nation has plummeted.
Pope Francis earlier this year accepted the resignation of Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati as archbishop of Santiago, the highest-ranking member of the Catholic church in Chile, after he was caught up in the country’s sex abuse scandal.
The church’s credibility has been harmed in much of the world by abuse scandals in countries including Ireland, Chile, Australia, France, the United States and Poland.
In Chile, prosecutors say they are investigating more than 150 cases of sexual abuse or cover-up involving more than 200 victims.
Irarrazaval will continue to serve the church as a pastor in Santiago, according to the Archdiocese of Santiago.
Irarrazaval could not be immediately reached for comment.
CNA has other information:
The decision for Irarrázaval to resign “was the fruit of dialogue and joint discernment, in which Pope Francis valued the spirit of faith and humility of the priest, in favor of the unity and good of the Church that is a pilgrim in Chile,” according to the statement.
Irarrázaval apologized to the Jewish community at the end of May after he made some controversial statements in an interview with CNN Chile May 23.
In the interview, the priest was asked about the role of women in the Church, to which he said: “we all have to ensure that they can do what they may want to do. Obviously, Jesus Christ marked out for us certain guidelines, and if we want to be the Church of Jesus Christ, we have to be faithful to Jesus Christ.”
“Jewish culture is a male dominated culture to this day,” he continued. “If you see a Jew walking down the street, the woman goes ten steps behind. But Jesus Christ breaks with that pattern. Jesus Christ converses with women, converses with the adulteress, with the Samaritan woman. Jesus Christ let women care for him.”
“It is true that at the Last Supper there was no woman seated at the table, and we also have to respect that. Jesus Christ made choices and he didn’t do it ideologically,” he said.
May 28 Irarrázaval expressed his apologies to the Jewish community during a meeting held at the archdiocesan offices with Jewish representatives.
So, women and Jews went after him, both.
Crux has more HERE.
So, I guess the moral of the story is that, n the present situation, Church leaders must say nothing that might be in the slightest way interesting enough to draw attention of special interest groups who are represented by the professionally offended.
Otherwise…. hey! There’s another angle. For you priests out there who might be tapped to be a bishop… and you want to say “No!” … but they won’t let you. Accept with smiles and then say something you really mean in public! They’ll be tearing your resignation letter out of your fingers so fast it’ll make smoking trail marks.