The Church’s Mere Reprimand
By Mariana Carbajal
April 19, 2004
[Translated to English by BishopAccountability.org. Click below to see original article in Spanish.]
In the “canonical warning” that the Bishop of Quilmes imposed on Father Rubén Pardo, this after receiving a complaint of sexual abuse against a minor, [Pardo’s actions] are never referred to as a crime. Rather, Monsignor Stöckler’s disciplinary action is for the violation of the sixth commandment: “Thou shall not have sexual intercourse or commit impure acts.”
In the text of the punishment there is no doubt that the bishop recognizes the existence of the facts. “Said events [he writes] gravely wound the spiritual health of the victim hurt by your actions, the sanctity of the People of God in general, and you yourself, called to be priest and shepherd of the People.”
Stöckler’s considers that Pardo has committed an “infraction.” At no time does he prohibit him from having contact with minors. Nor does he mandate him to undergo treatment for his pathology.
As part of the punishment, the bishop tells him [Pardo]:
“I urge you to:
1. Rectify your disposition and life choices, remaining faithful to your priestly promises.
2. Remove right away your personal items from the parish jurisdiction where you currently reside, and “absent yourself” from the diocese while the steps required by Canon law are taken. I see fit that taking up residency at Casa de Ejercicios de los Padres Cooperadores de Cristo Rey, or another locale outside the Quilmes Diocese, will be favorable to an atmosphere of seclusion and serenity demanded by your circumstances, and will facilitate the elucidation of the facts that have transpired in the preceding week. To that end, you’ll leave your telephone number and address in the hands of the Diocese.
3. For a full month beginning today, you’ll refrain from celebrating the Eucharist [at Mass] attended by parishioners, or officiating in the case of concelebrations. For the serenity of your spirit, you also must not hear confession for the specified period of time [one month].
4. Take precautionary measures to ensure that personnel at Iriarte Hospital, in Quilmes, [where the priest was chaplain] resort to nearby parish priests for the care of patients who request the presence of a priest.
5. Avoid public and private statements that may confound the People of God, in general, and those individuals affected by these unfortunate events, in particular.”
The written warning was signed by Father Pardo on August 20, 2002, five days after the episode with the boy.