A blog by the magazine's editors and contributors


The Curious Case of Carlos Urrutigoity (I)--UPDATED

In early July the Vatican announced that it would send investigators to the Diocese of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay. The apostolic visitation was prompted by complaints from local bishops and laypeople following news reports that an Argentine priest accused of molesting high-school students in Pennsylvania had been welcomed into Ciudad del Este by Bishop Rogelio Livieres—and promoted to vicar general, second in command of the diocese.

Weeks later, the Vatican revealed that Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity had been removed from his position as vicar general and—in an unusual step—the Holy See barred Bishop Livieres from ordaining anyone for the time being.* In response, the Diocese of Ciudad del Este published a long, forceful defense of Urrutigoity and Livieres. The statement, posted to the diocese’s website, claims that Urrutigoity is innocent, that he and the bishop have been the victims of a smear campaign, that his previous bishop approved his transfer to Paraguay, and that he came with the recommendation of several cardinals—including Joseph Ratzinger, who would soon be elected Pope Benedict XVI.

The diocese's rebuttal proved futile, because in late September the Holy See announced that Pope Francis had removed Livieres as bishop of Ciudad del Este.**

In a 2002 federal lawsuit, the plaintiff claimed that Urrutigoity and another priest, Eric Ensey, had molested him under the guise of “spiritual direction.” He accused Ensey of abusing him while he was a high-school student in the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and he accused Urrutigoity of sexual misconduct after he graduated and was considering the priesthood. (No criminal charges were filed because the statute of limitations had run.) In addition to the abuse accusations, depositions and affidavits taken in connection with the suit allege that the priests often supplied alcohol to underage boys and regularly shared their beds with them. The bishop at the time, James Timlin, eventually suspended both clerics, and the diocese settled out of court for about four hundred thousand dollars. The case rocked the diocese for years, not only because of the plaintiff’s shocking allegations, but also because the accused priests were not local to Scranton. Bishop Timlin had invited them in.

A review of hundreds of pages of court documents—including private correspondence, depositions, and affidavits—makes it clear that the Urrutigoity case is one of the most complicated to emerge during the 2002 wave of sexual-abuse scandals. It spans three decades, two continents, three countries, and three states. It involves multiple bishops, several dioceses, and high-ranking Vatican officials. The priest’s rise to prominence tracks closely with the church’s growing awareness of the gravity of clerical sexual abuse. Accusations of misconduct have followed him from Argentina to Pennsylvania. That’s what makes his reappearance in Ciudad del Este—where the bishop had him helping with seminary formation before promoting him to vicar general—so difficult to understand. How could a Catholic priest with such a history end up as second in command of a diocese—in 2014?

Carlos Urrutigoity’s route to Ciudad del Este was remarkably circuitous. His clerical career began in the mid-1980s in La Reja, Argentina, where he entered a seminary run by the schismatic Society of St. Pius X. The SSPX is a traditionalist organization that rejects the Second Vatican Council and practices the unreformed Latin Mass. Urrutigoity was kicked out when it was alleged that he had made sexual advances on a fellow seminarian, according to court documents. He was given a second chance at another SSPX seminary in Winona, Minnesota, where the superior was Bishop Richard Williamson, one of the four bishops illicitly ordained by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988—an act that brought automatic excommunication from the Catholic Church.*

(As part of his failed effort to bring the SSPX back into full communion with Rome, Benedict XVI lifted the SSPX bishops’ excommunications in 2009. Soon after, video surfaced in which Williamson denied that the Nazis had used gas chambers, and claimed no more than three hundred thousand Jews died in the Shoah. He was eventually ejected from the SSPX.)

By 1997, Urrutigoity was teaching at the Winona seminary. He had developed quite a following among priests and seminarians, a following that Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the SSPX, would later call “strange” and “abnormal.” Urrutigoity hatched a plan to create a society within the SSPX that would espouse more rigorous spiritual practices. They would call themselves the Society of St. John. But when that plan was discovered by Williamson in May 1997, he expelled Urrutigoity from the seminary. He didn’t leave alone.

Within weeks, Urrutigoity and a handful of other former members of SSPX—including Eric Ensey—had secured a meeting with James Timlin, then the Roman Catholic bishop of Scranton. They told the bishop that they were “seeking to return to the true church,” according to a 2007 chronology prepared by James Earley, then chancellor of the Diocese of Scranton. Timlin was persuaded.

That was June 1997. On September 15, Timlin wrote to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, which was responsible for normalizing relations with SSPX members and other traditionalists. Benedict XVI tasked the commission with supervising the application of his 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, which granted permission for wider use of the old Latin Mass (the “extraordinary form,” as it’s now called). Timlin sought the commission’s advice about restoring Society of St. John priests and deacons to full communion with Rome. Just seven days later “the censures the former members of the SSPX had incurred by virtue of receiving the sacrament of holy orders illicitly were lifted,” according to Earley's chronology. They were Catholic again.

Society of St. John members took up residence in an unused wing of St. Gregory’s Academy, a Catholic boarding school run by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, a small traditionalist group in communion with the Holy See. Members exclusively celebrate the extraordinary form of the Mass. The Fraternity of St. Peter established its North American headquarters in Scranton in 1992, while Timlin was bishop. Ensey became chaplain of St. Gregory’s, and other Society of St. John members taught classes.

On May 24, 1998, less than a year after the former members of SSPX arrived seeking to return to the Catholic Church, Bishop Timlin established the Society of St. John as a “public association of the faithful,” a designation granting them certain rights under canon law. The bishop held a series of meetings with members of the society, now officially led by Urrutigoity, to work out the organization’s mission. Their ambition was to establish a community for Catholics committed to the rites of the 1962 Roman Missal—that is, the unreformed Latin rites—a Catholic liberal-arts college, and a Catholic village. Timlin approved their plan, even though he had not run background checks on any Society of St. John members, nor had he reviewed their seminary formation records.

If he had, perhaps he would have been spared the surprise of reading a February 1999 letter from Bishop Fellay, superior general of the SSPX, warning him that Urrutigoity had approached the bed of a Winona seminarian named Matthew Selinger twice “for obvious dishonest acts.” Fellay informed Timlin that Urrutigoity was “accused of a similar action” in Argentina—“with a seminarian who is now a member of the Society of St. John.” But what disturbed Fellay the most was that Urrutigoity “had a strange, abnormal influence on the seminarians and priests, whom he seemed to attach to his brilliant, charismatic personality.” One of the reasons Fellay rejected Urrutigoity’s proposal to establish the Society of St. John within SSPX, he explained, was this “guru-like attachment between the disciples and their leader.” If Timlin wanted to investigate further, “we are at your disposal,” Fellay wrote, promising that Selinger was “ready to state under oath the facts mentioned above.” Eventually Selinger would.

Urrutigoity met with Timlin shortly thereafter, and denied Fellay’s claims. About five months later, Timlin sent three people to interview Selinger: Auxiliary Bishop John Dougherty, then-Vicar General Fr. Joseph Kopacz, and a lay attorney for the diocese, Francis X. O’Connor. In a report of that meeting written for Timlin, the three concluded, “All the auditors are inclined to believe Matthew Selinger,” according to a backgrounder prepared by the diocese’s Internal Review Board in 2002. Yet, when the IRB considered the case in 1999, it did not recommend suspending Urrutigoity. “Not only does the accused priest deny the allegation, but the other parties made points which seem to lessen the force of much that was reported by the complainant,” according to the minutes of a 1999 IRB meeting. “It is Bishop Timlin’s mind that without further knowledge, at present not available, a conclusion in this instance cannot be reached.” The minutes do not question the credibility of Selinger’s claims.

He detailed those claims four years later in sworn testimony given in connection with the 2002 lawsuit. During that deposition, Selinger recounted his relationship with Urrutigoity. The priest, then a teacher at the seminary, was Selinger’s spiritual director and confessor. Asked how the Society of St. John got started, Selinger said, “they wanted saints, and they wanted them now, and pretty much an elite.”

The first time he met Urrutigoity, Selinger said, the priest suggested he and another seminarian swim with him in the nude.

One year Selinger gave up meat for Lent. “I got constipated.” He asked Urrutigoity to help him get Metamucil, but the priest returned with suppositories. Never having seen one before, Selinger attempted to take it orally. Urrutigoity corrected him. When Selinger started heading toward the bathroom, Urrutigoity asked, “What are you doing?” Selinger explained that he was going to use the suppository in private, but Urrutigoity persisted. “What, I’m not your friend?” Selinger replied that he didn’t “want [his friends] watching him” in the bathroom. “That’s part of your pride, Matt,” Urrutigoity told him. According to Selinger, the priest said that because the seminarian came from “a rough background” and depended on his "strength to do everything,” the priest had to “break” Selinger's “pride” in order to “let God into [his] heart.” Selinger went to the bathroom anyway. “He got real mad at me.”

Urrutigoity placed a high value on loyalty, according to Selinger. “He had this idea that when you’re buddies, you do everything for each other.... So much so, friendship in this supernatural realm, we’re friends, you know, we are the same faith and everything, it’s deeper.” Because both of them were Catholic, Urrutigoity believed that “we were close spiritually,” Selinger continued. “We were one.” After all, “if two people become one [in marriage], why can’t two friends become one?” That sentiment was evident in Urrutigoity’s screen saver, which Selinger said displayed the following quote from Scripture: Ego et Pater unum sumus. I and the Father are one.

On a few occasions, Urrutigoity would go home with Selinger during breaks. “He was intrigued with the idea that I grew up with three brothers,” Selinger said. “He asked me where we all slept.” The Selingers didn’t have much money, “so we all slept in the same bed.”

Sleeping arrangements became an issue after Urrutigoity was expelled from the Winona seminary. He and the men who left with him—including Selinger—ended up staying at the home of one of Urrutigoity’s friends. At first, according to Selinger, there were enough beds. But then more people showed up, and Urrutigoity suggested the two bunk together.

By that point Selinger had grown disaffected. He was not happy about the artwork in the house. The images of nude women were too tempting. More troubling, he didn’t see evidence of the spiritual rigorism Urrutigoity said motivated him to create the Society of St. John. “No one was wearing a cassock,” and “I didn’t see anyone praying the breviary.” Nor did he see anyone praying the rosary. “But the whole point of everything that we were doing was to do things more and do it in communion,” Selinger said. So when Urrutigoity offered to share a bed with Selinger to make room for the new guests, he was not inclined to accept. He would sleep on the floor instead, as a sacrifice, he told Urrutigoity, hoping the priest would be satisfied. He was, for the moment.

Later that night, Selinger said, he awoke to find Urrutigoity’s hand on his penis. Shocked, and torn between the urge to strike the priest and the fear of harming a man of the cloth—“my dad once told me a guy hit a priest and his arm was frozen forever”—Selinger rolled over on his side, pretending not to notice. Worried that Urrutigoity would try again the following night, Selinger tried to take naps during the day so he could stay awake.

Urrutigoity approached Selinger’s bed again that night, “obviously to do what he did the night before,” but this time Selinger played it off, asking Urrutigoity whether he was having trouble sleeping. The cleric claimed that he was “having temptations in my sleep, dreams of girls” and wanted to pray at Selinger’s bedside, according to Selinger. A few days later, Selinger confronted Urrutigoity, said the priest needed psychological help, and left the Society of St. John to return to his family.

Almost immediately, Selinger’s father knew something was wrong. Eventually he told his father what had happened. His father phoned Fr. Eric Ensey, who in turn called Selinger and invited him to California. It was there that Selinger shared with Ensey what had happened with Urrutigoity, according to Selinger’s testimony. Selinger said that Ensey promised to confront Urrutigoity. A couple of weeks later, Selinger said, Ensey reported to him that Urrutigoity had “admitted it.”

It was June 1998—a year after the Society of St. John convinced Bishop Timlin to invite them into the Diocese of Scranton. As the lawyer questioning Selinger noted, in March '99 Ensey wrote to Timlin claiming that “Urrutigoity himself has always denied having perpetrated any of the improprieties with which he has been charged, and ever with the greatest fidelity to his role as Matthew’s spiritual director and friend.”

As time went on, Selinger wondered why Ensey hadn’t left Scranton. So he asked. Ensey said that “Fr. U. said I [Selinger] was sick and he was doing that [grabbing his penis] because he can tell if you’re aroused, you’re sick, or like, if you look at someone’s tongue and it’s all cracked then there’s something wrong in the soul,” according to Selinger. He explained that it wasn’t unusual for Urrutigoity to claim such expertise: “He said he would give Communion and look at people’s tongues and tell if that person was suffering more than the next person.” Selinger stopped taking Ensey’s calls.

But in summer 2003, Ensey contacted Selinger with what sounded like an urgent request. He wanted to meet in person. He warned Selinger that he might be subpoenaed in a pending lawsuit. He admitted that he was accused of molesting a minor, Selinger testified, but swore he was innocent. Ensey was concerned that if Selinger testified against Urrutigoity, it would “bury” Ensey too. “Then he said to me, ‘You know, if they subpoena you, you can’t get out of it. Now, you can leave the country.” But by that time Selinger was married with children. Then, Selinger testified, Ensey suggested that he lie. “You know I don’t lie,” Selinger replied. Finally, Ensey floated the possibility of Selinger talking to his lawyer. “He’s a good guy,” Selinger recalled him saying. “He’s got strong ties to the mafia.”

Selinger interpreted that as a threat, so he decided to accept Ensey’s offer to speak with the attorney. But, he testified, the lawyer never contacted him. And he never spoke with Ensey again.

Selinger said that he shared all that information with the auditors from the Diocese of Scranton, that they said they believed him. He also testified that he informed Bishop Timlin about Urrutigoity in writing. “I don’t want anything,” Selinger said. No money. No compensation of any kind. But he was upset when he learned that the diocese had taken Urrutigoity’s word over his:

This guy goes to Argentina, gets accused, and he says, "I didn’t do it," and everybody says "OK." Then he goes to the United States, and I know of two people and then, you know, including myself, in the seminary, and he’s accused, and he says, "I didn’t do it." Then he goes to Scranton and he’s touching boys around when they’re sleeping…. They’re saying, "He touched me," and he’s saying he didn’t do it. And everybody is saying, "OK." So, yeah I’m mad that he keeps doing it and people keep getting it done to them and everybody just says, "OK." Nothing gets done.

Selinger’s deposition was given on October 28, 2003. He couldn’t have known it at the time, but just a few weeks earlier, Scranton had received a new bishop, Joseph Martino, and before long he would make it his business to get something done.

This is the first in a series of posts on the Urrutigoity case. Read part two here, part three here, part four here, part five here, part six here, part seven here, and part eight here.

*The original version of this sentence erroneously implied that the Vatican had removed Urrutigoity as vicar general. It seems that Bishop Livieres made that decision.

**This sentence was added after Livieres was removed.

*** This sentence has been corrected. The original version stated that Williamson ordained Urrutigoity. It appears that he was ordained before he arrived in Winona, Minnesota.

About the Author

Grant Gallicho is an associate editor of Commonweal. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.



Commenting Guidelines

  • All

Wow.  This reads like a crime novel.  (I mean that in a good way.)  

Wow!  Life immitates fiction.  [I mean that in not a good way.]

There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who ignore what they already know.

Strange that the diocesan website says there is nothing to the accusations

A separate chapter in this history of opposition to our bishop Livieres and to the new seminary in Ciudad del Este is, without a doubt, the attack against Father Carlos Urrutigoity. He arrived to the diocese in 2005 together with other priests and laymen who would later on establish the Priestly Communities of Saint John. Father Urrutigoity came to the diocese recommended by some cardinals with roles in the Vatican (one of whom was elected pope Benedict XVI a few days later). Father Carlos brought with him a long and harsh defamation campaign in the U.S. Full of calumnies, about which Msgr. Livieres wrote a detailed letter clarifying matters....

The bishop's continual refutations notwithstanding, a repetitive and self referential press continued to quote itself again and again, on matters of alleged “accusations of pedophilia” which, in reality, never existed.

The claim that Fr. U was "recommended by some Cardinals with roles in the Vatican" may relate to a handwritten letter from Cardinal Arinze recommending that the Society of St. John be received in the diocese. Although Fr. U was a member of that Society, he is not mentioned by name in the letter.

I haven't found anything from Cardinal Ratzinger on the site. 

One of the interesting elements in this is that SSPX was in touch with a diocese, at least somewhat in the ways that we hope dioceses are in touch with one another, to warn about a problem priest.  As I started to read through Grant's recounting of the history here, I anticipated that one of the things that would go wrong in this very bad tale would be that, because of Urrutigoity's SSPX past, the diocese wouldn't have access to details of his problematic background.  But it appears that isn't the case.

Rome's role in Urrutigoity's ability to move from one place to another certainly is worrisome.  It just seems difficult to characterize Cardinal Ratzinger's/Pope Benedict's solicitous attitude toward schismatic traditionalists as anything other than a bad mistake.


Rome's role in Urrutigoity's ability to move from one place to another certainly is worrisome.

I haven't yet seen the smoking gun to support the diocese's claim on that. It might exist, but it isn't in anything I've seen yet. 

The SSPX role in the situation probably had some influence on how Timlin reacted even though it appears that Fellay actually warned the diocese of Scranton.  Given the amounts of schismatic crazy associated with that group, I imagine that most bishops ignore any letters from the SSPX so when the group actually has a legitimate concern it goes unnoticed.  Urrugoity also could have said the SSPX was smearing him because he chose to return to the "true Church."  It doesn't excuse the Urrugoity situation in Scranton but it does explain it.  

More concerning to me than the Scranton situation is the fact that Urrugoity was able to incardinate in Ciudad del Este.  There was no irregular status to blame on that move.

I wrote: "Rome's role in Urrutigoity's ability to move from one place to another certainly is worrisome."


To which John Hayes replied: "I haven't yet seen the smoking gun to support the diocese's claim on that. It might exist, but it isn't in anything I've seen yet. "

John - this passage from Grant's post piques my interest:

On September 15 [1997], [Scranton Bishop] Timlin wrote to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, which was responsible for normalizing relations with SSPX members and other traditionalists. ... Timlin sought the commission’s advice about restoring Society of St. John priests and deacons to full communion with Rome. Just seven days later “the censures the former members of the SSPX had incurred by virtue of receiving the sacrament of holy orders illicitly were lifted,” according to Earley's chronology. 

I consider a seven-day turnaround pretty expeditious work on Rome's part - it's barely time for snail mail to turn around, in the normal course of things.  Even if the official docs were overnighted back and forth, it just seems like there must have been some expedited handling in Rome of such a request.  I'd be glad to be corrected if my perception of the speed with which such a request would be concluded isn't right.  

If my perception is right - then I wouldn't consider it to be conclusive, but it is suggestive.


Jim Pauwels, i was thinking more about the Uruguay dioceses's claim that Rome had recommended Fr.  U to them. 

Regarding Scranton, the Ecclesia Dei Commission was set up in 1988 to facilitate the reintegration of priests and others who separated from the SSPX, so my guess is that that was a pretty much cut and dried process by 1997. 

A Commission is instituted whose task it will be to collaborate with the bishops, with the Departments of the Roman Curia and with the circles concerned, for the purpose of facilitating full ecclesial communion of priests, seminarians, religious communities or individuals until now linked in various ways to the Fraternity founded by Mons. Lefebvre, who may wish to remain united to the Successor Peter in the Catholic Church, while preserving their spiritual and liturgical traditions, in the light of the Protocol signed on 5 May last by Cardinal Ratzinger and Mons. Lefebvre [and renounced by +Lefebvre the following month].


Even all these years after Maciel, we still have supporters of men like Urrutigoity using the same script used by Maciel's defenders for so many years:  holy man being defamed and calumniated by disgruntled ex-members because of his efforts to live out a traditional/orthodox Catholic lifestyle.  And a secular press all too eager to keep repeating same defamations (that ever-pesky press!)

Yadda, yadda.  It's so tired and trite at this point, it's not even funny.  You'd think they could at least come up with something fresh.  How long, O Lord?

Can you imagine having to stay awake all night just to make sure a priest doesn't grab your penis?  It would be funny (I can see all sorts of South Park-type jokes here) if it weren't so sick and disturbing.

My son goes to a Catholic college run by monks, and when a storm blows out the electricity for an hour or two at night, the joke is, "Watch your backs, boys---there might be monks on the loose!" 

Wait till he hears this one.



"Rome's role in Urrutigoity's ability to move from one place to another certainly is worrisome."

I would say so!  I didn't know that you JP have such a talent for understatement.

The implications of what Gallicho's reporting in this story says is that repeatedly over years when hierarchs have testified to in myriad legal proceedings, or their attorneys have stipulated to in court proceedings, are lies.  

Time and time again the hierarchs have attested to their belief and knowledge that there was NO direction or supervision coming from the Vatican about the local disposition of these cases.

Now we have public evidence that we have been lied to repeatedly, and that the hierarchs have indeed engaged in a worldwide cover-up of crimes and the suppression of the truth.

Sounds pretty damning to me.  I guess there is a very good reason why the Vatican sent such a high-ranking apostolic delegation(?) to investigate this matter.  They certainly seem to know the implications of what has already been revealed publicly.

This speaking the attack against Father Carlos Urrutigoity

El caso parece una novela, y está relatado como mal. Pero como toda novela, toma pequeños elementos ciertos, y alrededor de ellos inventa una historia atrapante, pero falsa. Les sugiero a quienes les interese la verdad concreta (algo tediosa y no tan atrapante, pero con el esplendor de la verdad) leer los documentos concretos, firmados y publicados con total responsabilidad, por el Obispo de Ciudad del Este, Mons. Rogelio Livieres, así como esta entrevista:

El p Carlos Urrutigoity es víctima de una persecución. Como fueron tantos otros buenos curas y cristianos en general. Vean sus frutos, por ellos los conocereis. Recemos por todos nuestros sacerdotes, desde el Santo Padre Francisco hasta el menor y más humilde cura, para que sean guiados y consolados por María Santísima. ¡Ave María Purísima! 

Google Translate does an adequate job of giving the gist of Juan Bosch's comment.

Bosch's comment:

The case seems like a novel, and is told wrongly [or ‘as an evil’]. But like any novel, it takes a few known elements and surrounds these with a captivating, but false, story. I suggest to those who are interested in knowing the concrete truth (somewhat tedious and less captivating but with the splendor of truth), should read the documents that are concrete, signed and published with total responsibility by the Bishop of C del Eeste, Mons Rogelio LIvieres, as well as this interview.

Father Carlos U is the victim of a persecution. Just as so many other good priests and Christians in general. Look at the fruits, that’s how you will know them. Let us pray for all our priests, from the Holy Father Francis to the least and most humble priest, so that they might be guided and consoled by Holy Mary. Hail Most Virgin!

I stand by my reporting. The story I tell here, which I will continue to tell over the rest of this series, is not false. The Diocese del Este has spun several facts to suit its claim that Urrutigoity and his newest bishop are victims of a smear campaign. Its statement omits several pertinent facts, which I'll expand on soon. For example, curiously absent from its account is the fact that Bishop Timlin's successor, Josepn Martino, supressed the Society of St. John for reasons of financial misfeasance and scandal brought by sexual-misconduct allegations he clearly deemed credible. The fruits of Urrutigoity's labors in Scranton were a mountain of debt, a sexual-misconduct lawsuit that settled for nearly half a million dollars, and a diocese rocked by scandal.

More later.

Read the history of Maciel - this story and pattern is eriely similar.  Maciel started the same way with two differences - the Mexican bishops were sidelined when Maciel went to Rome and boght off supporters and Maciel had a gift to raise millions - this appears to be missing in this story.

There is no smear campaign going on here.

Well as a supporter of the SSPX I'd like to make some comments:

1. The SSPX is in a canonically irregular situation, is it not in a state of schism.  

2. The excommunications were lifted in 2009 and only the six bishops involved in the consecrations were excommunicated.  The priests of the SSPX are suspended a divinis.

3. As I understand it Fr. Urritgoity's plans were not for a society that "would espouse more rigorous spiritual practices".  Instead there was a focus on recreating the Medieval social structure.  This included a big emphasis on chivalry and building planned communities centered on their local Church.  When I met one of his associates before he was expelled I noticed a strong focus on trying to recapture what they perceived as the golden age of the Church.  

4. I have met Fr. Urritgoity on one occasion and can attest that he is very charismatic and convincing.  My opinion is that Fr. Urritgoity has simply convinced his new Bishop of his innocence and attracted another 'following'.  This is the same pattern repeated again.  His ability to retain the loyalty of his confreres even when accused by former members of his order is testimony to his abilities.

5. When I learned that one of his associates was placed in charge of their seminary, I was very concerned for the type of formation they would receive.  The hold on all ordinations is, in my mind. a wise decision.

 God Bless!



I know for a fact - because I witnessed this and also others told me directly - that Carlos Urrutigoity slept in the same bed with young men and his students.  They did this in their underwear and embracing under the blankets.  He convinced many students that this was a good way to express affection between men.  I know that he then lied under oath, after swearing to God that he would tell the truth, and he said that this did not happen.  If you want to contact me I can be reached at [email protected]    Please see these links that have some of the evidence.


Yo sé que es un hecho - porque fui testigo y otros me dijeron directamente - que Carlos Urrutigoity dormía en la misma cama con los jóvenes y sus alumnos. Lo hicieron en su ropa interior y que abraza debajo de las mantas. Convenció a muchos estudiantes que se trataba de una buena manera de expresar el afecto entre los hombres. Yo sé que él entonces mintió bajo juramento, después de jurar a Dios que iba a decir la verdad, y me dijo que esto no sucedió. Si desea ponerse en contacto conmigo me puede localizar en [email protected]  Favor ver estos vínculos que tienen algunas de las pruebas.


Yo sé que es un hecho - porque fui testigo y otros me dijeron directamente - que Carlos Urrutigoity dormía en la misma cama con los jóvenes y sus alumnos. Lo hicieron en su ropa interior y que abraza debajo de las mantas. Convenció a muchos estudiantes que se trataba de una buena manera de expresar el afecto entre los hombres. Yo sé que él entonces mintió bajo juramento, después de jurar a Dios que iba a decir la verdad, y me dijo que esto no sucedió. Si desea ponerse en contacto conmigo me puede localizar en [email protected]  Favor ver estos vínculos que tienen algunas de las pruebas.


The hold on all ordinations is, in my mind. a wise decision

Yes. I think it is important to find out what the seminarians have been taught. If they have been formed as a diocesan analog of the SSPX (where Fr. U began), then it is a serious problem - as it also will be if they have been formed to promote particular political or social programs which may not be consistent with the direction Francis is setting for the Church  - such as the "restoration of medieval society" mentioned by Thomas Procco. 

In the case of the FFI, the Vatican ordered all of their seminarians to be transferred to Pontifical colleges in Rome.

It seems to me that that is the first of two issues about Bishop Livieres. The second is whether he is capable and willing to deal effectively with whatever future issues of clergy sex abuse arise in his diocese. 

@ Thomas Procco:  There are many things in your post that I find disturbing, but this takes the cake:

As I understand it Fr. Urritgoity's plans were not for a society that "would espouse more rigorous spiritual practices".  Instead there was a focus on recreating the Medieval social structure.  This included a big emphasis on chivalry and building planned communities centered on their local Church.  When I met one of his associates before he was expelled I noticed a strong focus on trying to recapture what they perceived as the golden age of the Church.  

If that's you're true worldview, we're in real trouble.  That idealized medieval world [There is little evidence that it really ever existed outside the walls of some monestaries.] which you seem to pine for is long, long gone with the wind - sorry to mix metaphors.

The evolutionary thrust of history is for more democracy, not less.  Much of what bedevils the church today, much of its corruption and despair, is rooted in its dogged adherence to patriarchy and that all-male feudal hegemony you seem to want to get back to.

Come on, this is the 21st century - post the scientific revolution.  Copernicus and Gallileo put that church-centered dream of life on the scrape heap of history long ago.  That medieval paradigm for the church is a dog that no longer will hunt.  

After all, all those Catholic religious women taught us sheeple, especially Catholic women, to read and write.  Alas, the male patriarchy genie is out-of-the-bottle, for a long time now.  Get used to it.

The church is a very wide tent and there is a lot of specific forms of spirituality that many of us would find strange, exotic and even repugnant.  But sexual abuse, and the condoning and cover-up of sexual abuse, have no place in the church, regardless of the spirituality of the believer.  Let's not lose sight of the point here.  If Urrutigoity is a traditionalist with a quirky spiritual vision for a medieval society and he somehow attracts others to that view while treating them with holiness and respect, then whatever may or may not be problematic about his theology and spirituality is for the bishops and religious superiors to sort out.  None of that excuses abusive behavior.


Jim Jenkins, I didn't take Thomas Procco's post as promoting the medieval village idea - simply reporting it as one of the Fr. U's projects. A few minutes ago, I noticed that Fr. Munkelt's 2003 letter to Bishop Martino mentioned that the Fr. U's Society of St. John had raised several million dollars in donations to build a medieval village at Shohola PA - so I don't know whether it's that pre-2003 program that Thomas Procco was referring to or whether, as I had assumed in my recent post, it is part of the current Seminary program in Uruguay. 

Munkelt Letter:

Uruguay = Paraguay



Diocese of Scranton posted its view of the situation on its website, responding to an article in a local paper (which it also posted, following its response)

here's an earlier article by the same local paper giving more details of the background:

Actually the 'evolutionary thrust' of history is for more tryranny because of the basic principles used to guide the various civilizations.

The view espoused is more of a North American view, looking elsewhere in the world the conclusion is not supported. 


They would not be formed as a dioscesan analog. Keep in mind they were expelled from the SSPX because they did not agree with the formation etc.

The FSSP would be closer to a dioscesan analog.

i know for a fact that his current bishop does not want him where he is. as a matter of fact, he did not even ask for his blessing to be where he is currently at -- an illegal school with more abusers in charge

livieres is an ugly person, who is he to judge his holiness the pope. mr bosch are you fr carlos' brother, he' s guilty

Currently they reside in diocese Zarate Campana WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM THE BISHOP TO STAY THERE. I spoke with the bishop and he did not even know they were living there. As they were kicked out of Paraguay -the whole society- they all went there and live within a lefebvrian community that welcomed them. The bishop is still waiting for them to let him know they have arrived and celebrate sacraments - without permission.

They - condemned paedophiles - are in charge of a school in Buenos Aires. No permission from the bishop to be there. Kicked out of Paraguay. Around children all day long. Both priests and seminarians

Add new comment

You may login with your assigned e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.

Or log in with...

Add new comment