The executive committee of the Paraguayan Bishops’ Conference issued a statement Wednesday denying it received reports that President Fernando Lugo had fathered a child while still a bishop.
Speaking about Lugo's actions, the bishops said in their statement that “the Paraguayan Bishops’ Conference never received any formal complaint in writing with regard to Bishop Fernando Lugo about the issue of his supposed paternity.”
“If a complaint was made to the Apostolic Nunciature, its handling and definition was under the exclusive competence of the same [office],” they added.
For this reason, “the executive committees laments and rejects the statements by Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plan which imply that there was a cover-up and complicity on the part of the bishops of Paraguay regarding the moral conduct of the then-member of the Episcopal college, Bishop Fernando Lugo,” they said.
Bishop Livieres had told different news outlets that the former Nuncio received written complaints between 2000 and 2004 from women claiming to have had children by Lugo.
The bishops went on to point out that “the resignation letter of Bishop Fernando Lugo from the Diocese of San Pedro in 2004, and his reasons, were not received by the Paraguayan Bishops’ Conference, and therefore it was not an issue handled by the Plenary Assembly of Bishops.”
“The members of the conference learned of the resignation when it was officially announced that the Holy Father accepted his resignation in January of 2005,” the statement indicated.