The consequences of Pope Francis’ sacking of the Bishop of Arecibo are beginning to emerge

The consequences of Pope Francis’ sacking of the Bishop of Arecibo are beginning to emerge

believers of catholic church They are mobilized these days to show their support for the bishop Daniel Fernandez Torreswhich was removed by Baba Franciscoon Wednesday, as head of Arecibo Diocese.

On the other hand, a demonstration was called on Sunday in front of the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, in Old San Juan, in support of Fernandez Torres.

Meanwhile, petition on the podium change.org Under the title “I oppose the dismissal of Monsignor Daniel Fernandez from the position of Bishop of the Diocese of Arecibo”, it began spreading on social media on Wednesday and yesterday, at six in the evening, and gained more than 3900 signatures.

Since the news was published, groups have been created on social networks and comments by parishioners in defense of religious people abound.

“My respect and appreciation to the Bishop of Arecibo for his courage, justice and mercy with us believers. He had so much courage to confront a mechanism that was in favor of the picket line and he only had to fight other bishops to help the faithful. We must obey God in front of the people.”One of the parishioners commented on social networks. “It must be a mistake or for unimportant reasons. I pray to God that he removes all this and that the bishop returns to his position.”Another noted.

These are typical expressions of believers who are unaware of the reasons for the dismissal of their bishop, for which it is necessary for the Catholic Church to deal with the concerns of the faithful, especially in the diocese of Arecibo, said the professor and director of the church. School of Theology at Metro Campus of the Pan American University, Angel Velez Oyola.

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“The Church must believe that the fundamental rule of the Catholic Church, like any other, is not the priests, the priests, or the pastors, but the parishioners who make up this community in Christ,” Velez said. Oyola.

“It is time to sit down and have a real dialogue where parishioners are not affected, nor feel unprotected by the Church, but have to give some reason, (say) what really happened”The professor added when He admitted that the Catholic Church is accustomed to being “too closed”.

The Dignity Project senator also joined the expressions of regret, Juan Rodriguez FifiWho thanked the work done by Fernandez Torres. “With his dismissal, Puerto Rico loses a shepherd with the smell of sheep, ready to face current challenges without fear of being left alone, as a voice in the desert, to defend the truth, the Catholic faith and the basic tenets of the Christian faith.”He expressed.

The Vatican announced Wednesday that the Pope Francisco Fernández Torres dismissed as bishop of the Diocese of Arecibo and appointed Bishop Emeritus as Apostolic Administrator of Arecibo Álvaro Corada del Rio. The Holy See did not provide details of the reasons for the dismissal, but Fernandez Torres issued written statements to publicize the decision.

“I was told that I had committed no crime, but that I allegedly did not obey the Pope and had insufficient contact with my brother, the Bishops of Puerto Rico.”Fernandez Torres said.

Lawyer Diana Torres DiazHe, who has knowledge of the case, stressed that the dismissal was an administrative move and Fernández Torres retains the title of bishop.

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Besides what would be an offense under Puerto Rico’s penal code, the Catholic Church has its own series of rules and definitions for what constitutes crimes against religion, against church unity and against ecclesiastical authorities, among others. For example, Canon 1364 of the Code of Canon Law states that crimes against the church are heretic, apostate, or schismatic.

A heretic denies or separates from the dogmas of religion, and an apostate is one who abandons religion openly, while a dissenter is defined as introducing strife or causing a schism in the church. These crimes are punishable by excommunication.

Likewise, Book VI, Part Two, Title Two of the Canon of Canon Law states that “those who defy or disobey doctrines or orders of the Supreme Pontiff shall be punished with just punishment.

“For such a thing to happen (a separation), there must be some element, some precedent that none of us know, all knowing that its decisions in the Catholic Church are slow, but firm. There is an old saying that the thoughts of the Catholic Church are like the elephant Assertive, but overwhelming.Via Feliz Oyola.

Fernandez Torres confirmed that he was not allowed to defend himself against any accusation against him. A source who spoke to this newspaper on condition of anonymity indicated that the bishop was asked to resign three times, since September last year. He also stated that he was summoned to the Vatican, but did not attend.

“It is an internal matter of the Catholic Church that has its own rules. In history and the sociology of religion we study these things when they have great historical implications.A sociologist of religion and a retired professor from the University of Puerto Rico’s School of Social Sciences revealed, Samuel Silva

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Fernández Torres and other members of the Episcopal Conference have been in contention since his appointment to lead the Diocese of Arecibo. In 2013, this newspaper reported that he was part of a group in which he was also leaders New Progressive Party (PNP), which encouraged investigations against Archbishop of Saint JohnAnd the Robert Gonzalez NevesWith the intention of relieving the Vatican of its duties. At the time, the main complaints revolved around the establishment of the Altar de la Patria in the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, the archbishop’s positions on national identity and alleged interference in public policy.

In the same way, Fernández Torres defected from the ranks of the island’s other bishops on several occasions. The most recent was last year, when he defended the so-called freedom of conscience to justify the refusal to vaccinate against COVID-19. Additionally, Fernández Torres has been one of the most vocal Catholic faithful in opposing the bill banning so-called conversion therapies in minors.

However, all of the bishops signed a letter in 2021 supporting parents who wanted to participate in a demonstration organized in San Juan against teaching from a gender perspective.

Aygen Marsh

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