Bishop resigns after admitting he fathered 2 children
Auxiliary Bishop Zavala of Los Angeles admitted in December to fathering two children.
A Los Angeles bishop has resigned amid scandal after acknowledging that he is the father of two teenagers.
The Bishop Zavala has resigned after admitting he fathered two children
Under canon law, bishops cannot resign until age 75 unless they are ill or there is some other reason that they are unfit for their office. In this case, the resignation is because of the latter.
Most Catholic priests (with some exceptions) take a vow to remain celibate. Priests that do not wish to remain celibate and pursue marriage may seek to be laicized and released from the clerical state. However, in Zavala's case, that had not occurred.
Rather, he conducted his immoral and illicit relationship with a woman and fathered two children while keeping the matter from parishioners and church authority.
Zavala admitted to Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez in December, that he had fathered two children, now teenagers, who lived in another state with their mother, while serving as a priest.
The conduct of a hidden affair outside of marriage - and the violation of the the priestly vows of celibacy - represents a substantial moral shortfall completely unacceptable for a Bishop. Fortunately, he acknowledged his hidden life to the Archbishop and submitted his resignation to Rome.
For its part, the Archdiocese has pledged to support the children fathered by Zavala, offering critical spiritual and financial support, including aid for college costs.
There is no indication that Zavala's conduct was criminal in any way. However, it was immoral. It was also a violation of his vows and his clerical vocation. There is no word yet on what Zavala will do next, but he can no longer continue to serve within the church as a member of the clergy.
Sadly, this news does little to improve the public image of the clergy, tragically rocked by a series of scandals over the past two decades. However, the overwhelming majority of clergy members are faithful and heroic in their service to the Lord and His Church.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
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Keywords: Zavala, Auxiliary Bishop, Los Angeles
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