Montevideo, Uruguay, Jun 29, 2009 / 12:43 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Church leaders in Uruguay are awaiting a decision from the Holy See on how to proceed with the case of Bishop Francisco Barbosa da Silveira of Minas, who has been accused by clergy in his diocese of sexual misconduct.
Sources at the Uruguayan Bishops’ Conference confirmed that the bishops do not have the authority to take the necessary measures in the case of Bishop Barbosa, who has been denounced for having homosexual relations by some clergy in his diocese. The case of Bishop Barbosa must be dealt with by the Holy See.
The newspaper El Pais reported the bishop requested a police investigation saying he was the victim of extortion. Two adult men with criminal backgrounds were charged and sentenced to prison.
“The bishops’ conference, the Church, has no plans to provide any kind of explanation,” the newspaper reported.
According to the newspaper El Observador, this would be “the first time in the history of the Church in Uruguay that a bishop has had to resign over issues related to his private life.”
Bishop Francisco Barbosa is one of the most theologically controversial prelates in Uruguay and is very “contemporary,” as demonstrated by his Episcopal motto, loosely translated as, “Gotta keep moving on.” The motto is taken from a popular song and is a refrain often used by a left-wing political coalition that supports abortion.
Bishop Barbosa was born on March 16, 1944. He was ordained a priest on June 17, 1972 at the age of 28. On March 6, 2004, he was named Bishop of Minas and was installed on May 8 of that same year.