SANTIAGO, Chile (CNS) — Just three weeks after Pope Francis named him to be an auxiliary bishop of Santiago, Father Carlos Irarrazaval Errazuriz declined the position in the wake of concern over comments he made about the sex abuse crisis, women and Jewish tradition.
The Archdiocese of Santiago announced June 13 that Pope Francis had accepted Father Irarrazaval’s resignation from the “ecclesiastical office for which he had been elected.”
His ordination as a bishop had been scheduled for July 16.
“The decision 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,” the archdiocese’s announcement said.
While not going forward with his ordination as a bishop, it said, Father Irarrazaval will continue as pastor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus parish, also known as the parish community of “El Bosque.” Pope Francis expelled the previous pastor, Fernando Karadima, from the priesthood after multiple accusations of sexual abuse.
Father Irarrazaval caused a storm in the media and on social media with comments he made to the newspaper El Mercurio and later to CNN Chile.
He told the newspaper that when it came to the abuse crisis it was useless “to stir overheated rice.”
Asked what he meant, he told CNN that he meant that it was not helpful “to stay with the same thing that we already know, there is nothing new.”
While the church must care for survivors and is grateful to them for “lifting the lid from the pot,” he said, the church must look at how the situation was able to occur, and “we have to draw lessons from what we have learned to move forward.”
In the same CNN interview, he praised women for their involvement in the church, but said they should not try to be men and, he said, “at the Last Supper there was no woman sitting at the table and we have to respect that.”
He offended some members of the Jewish community when he explained that Jesus did not accept all of the restrictions of his Jewish community when it came to his relationship with women.
“Jewish culture is a macho culture to this day,” he said. “If you see a Jew walking down the street, the woman goes 10 steps behind.”
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
or by credit card: