The Bishop’s Obligations
By Mariana Carbajal
April 29, 2013
[Translated to English by BishopAccountability.org. Click below to see original article in Spanish.]
The judges of Courtroom II of the Quilmes Court Civil Division rejected all appeals by the Office of the Bishop of Quilmes, which claimed that it was not responsible for paying compensatory damages to a victim of sexual abuse by a priest of that diocese, because the parishes are, legally, public entities with independent ownership, and that all the bishop does is establish living quarters in the parish for the resident priest and vicar, but is not responsible for anything that takes places there, since the parishes are autonomous.
Judge Hernán Señaris, presiding over Civil and Commercial Court No. 2 of Quilmes, which rendered the first instance verdict (now confirmed), refuted that reasoning: the basis of his determination is that the bishop, in accordance with Canon law, has the general obligation to exercise vigilance in its diocese (Canon 392), and that the bishop is charged with placing [employing] and removing the parish priest and parish vicar. Pedophile priest Rubén Pardo was vicar of San Cayetano Parish, in the district of Berazategui. As such, the Bishop of Quilmes had assigned him there.
Separately, the judge ascribed responsibility to the bishop for the [vocational] formation of the priests, and, as a consequence, for knowing if they are capable of performing the functions of a religious minister, in accordance with the commands of Canon law.