By Horacio Verbitsky
February 8, 2009
[Translated into English by BishopAccountability.org. Click below to see original article in Spanish.]
In addition to denying the Holocaust, integralist Bishop Richard Williamson protected a priest of the Society of St. Pious X, who was accused of sexual abuse of adolescent students.
The priest at the center of the scandal, Carlos Urrutigoity, accepted back into the Catholic Church before Williamson, is now the focus of a major conflict in the Paraguayan Diocese of Ciudad del Este, where the public is protesting his being there, and questioning Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano for having entrusted him with the priestly formation of young men at the diocesan seminary.
The alleged abuses occurred when Williamson was director of a seminary of the Lefebvrist Fraternity in Winona, United States. The first complaint against Urrutigoity was made by another priest, Andrés Morello, who was rector of La Reja Seminary before Williamson.
When Morello had Urrutigoity expelled from La Reja, now Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta, who was then head of the South American chapter of the Lefebvrist Fraternity, had Urritigoity sent to the integralist priory of Córdoba. From there he went to Winona Seminary.
Although Morello sent Williamson the series of accusations against Urrutigoity, Williamson nonetheless ordained Urrutigoity, who taught gospel, Latin, and religious music.
According to Morello’s report, Urrutigoity harassed a young layman who lived at La Reja Seminary with questions about chastity and temptation. One night he entered the young man’s room at three in the morning, without knocking. When the young man awoke, Urrutigoity said he had only come to cover him with a blanket. On another occasion, Urrutigoity told him he looked like he had a fever, and although the young man denied it, Urrutigoity used his hands to check his genitals “to see if they were swollen.” He also gave him underwear as a gift, asked him to wear it in his company, and massaged his butt.
Urrutigoity touched another seminarian in the bathroom and told him he loved his round ass. Two other laypersons related that, with the authorization of Galarreta, Urrutigoity bathed in his underwear with boys at a summer camp. In the report, Morello wrote that Galarreta didn’t expel Urrutigoity “due to the problems that doing so would have caused him to have with the Calderón family.”
Another of Urrutigoity’s passions were suppositories. Jeffrey M. Bond, rector of San Justino Mártir School, in Greeley, Pennsylvania, said there is testimony that the Argentine priest slept in the same bed as the seminarians who were under his command at Winona, and also in the same bed as children and adolescents to whom he gave spiritual direction at San Gregorio Academy and Comunidades de San Juan Society, which was founded by Urrutigoity.
Williamson told Bond that he never saw any evidence of homosexual behavior by the priest who, nevertheless, was expelled from Winona for “subversive activities:” he had planned to create Comunidades de San Juan Society, which he did. A seminarian and very close friend of Urrutigoity exited Winona with him, but after they left accused him of sexual harassment.
Urrutigoity found refuge in the Catholic Diocese of Scranton, which was under the leadership of Bishop James Timlin. Bernard Fellay, then chief of the Lefebvrists, and one of those pardoned by the Pope, reported Urrutigoity to Timlin, but Timlin still allowed him to work as chaplain at the school for adolescents. In 2005, Urrutigoity went to Paraguay, where Bishop Livieres Plano appointed him instructor at San José de Ciudad del Este Seminary, near the Argentine border.
Last month hundreds of congregants marched through the streets asking for the removal of the priest. Twenty-six parishes signed a letter of solidarity with Livieres Plano, who in turn responded that the charges against Urrutigoity were unproven, and that Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, of the Ecclesia Dei Committee, gave him permission to welcome Urritigoity into his diocese, and that the Comunidades de San Juan Society, together with Urrutigoity, took up residence in Ciudad del Este, “at the request of the Vatican, in a letter from Cardinal Francis Arinze.”