L.A. Aux. Bishop Zavala resigns after admitting he fathered two children.
Official word came this morning at the bottom of the Vatican Information Service bulletin, under “Other Pontifical Acts”: “Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of Los Angeles, U.S.A., presented by Bishop Gabino Zavala, in accordance with canons 411 and 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.” Canon 401, para. 2 holds that ”a diocesan bishop who, because of illness or some other grave reason, has become unsuited for the fulfillment of his office, is earnestly requested to offer his resignation,” and canon 411 applies that law to auxiliary bishops.
Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez announced the “sad and difficult” news in a letter to Catholics in the archdiocese. He said Bishop Zavala, who was auxiliary bishop for the San Gabriel Pastoral Region, had informed him in early December that he was the father of two minor teenage children who live with their mother in another state.
In the letter, Gomez announced that Zavala was no longer in ministry and would be living privately. Gomez also said the archdiocese had reached out to the mother to offer spiritual and financial support.
Why did Zavala choose to disclose this information last month? I imagine we’ll know soon enough.