Mexico City, Mexico, Jan 22, 2021 / 16:06 pm
Carlos Cardinal Aguiar Retes of Mexico denied this week that his archdiocese has incurred “material and spiritual abandonment” of his predecessor, who is gravely ill with Covid-19, by not providing for his care in a private hospital.
Norberto Cardinal Rivera Carrera, 78, who was Archbishop of Mexico from 1995 to 2017, was admitted to a public hospital earlier this month.
Public hospitals in Mexico are widely considered to provide subpar medical services, relative to private institutions.
“In cases where hospitalization of priests and bishops is required, it is provided through hospitals in the state sector,” Cardinal Aguiar Retes has said.
“The decision that bishops and priests receive medical attention for COVID in these hospitals is because of the economic situation experienced by the Church throughout the country and in communion and solidarity with what thousands of Mexicans have lived during this pandemic and those we accompany through our daily prayer.”
The Archdiocese of Mexico said Jan. 20 that "the Vicariate of the Clergy of the Archdiocese is in charge of accompanying priests and bishops during their illness, maintaining contact, supporting, and monitoring their state of health."
Fr. Hugo Valdemar, who for 15 years was communications director to Cardinal Rivera, accused Cardinal Aguiar Retes Jan. 19 of abandoning “both spiritually and materially” his predecessor, by denying him the financial resources for his medical care in a private hospital in Mexico City.
According to Fr. Valdemar, "caring for the health of Cardinal Rivera is not charity, is their obligation, and if they claim that there are no resources, that cannot be an excuse to abandon him. Don Norberto always took personal care of his auxiliary bishops and his priests.”