Mystery of sudden resignation by Bishop now solved

Pope accepts bishop's resignation after moral and sexual harassment scandal

The Bishop of Catanduva was advised to resign after an internal church process investigating his involvement in harassment cases.


São Paulo - On Wednesday (1 November), Pope Francis accepted the resignation request made by Bishop Valdir Mamede of Catanduva, in the interior of São Paulo.

The information was published in the Vatican Press Office bulletin.

"The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral government of the Diocese of Catanduva (Brazil) presented by H.E. Monsignor Valdir Mamede," says the communiqué. The reasons for the resignation were not given by the Vatican.

According to reports in the city's press, the resignation of Monsignor Valdir Mamede is linked to allegations of moral and sexual harassment against priests and seminarians, who were heard in an internal process led by the Archbishop of Ribeirão Preto, Monsignor Moacir Silva.

The canonical process also investigates the bishop for an alleged accusation of covering up crimes by other priests within the Church.

There was no police investigation into the case, but at the end of the enquiry, the bishop of Catanduva was advised to resign.

Reports of offences

According to the Gazeta do Interior newspaper, in March this year Mamede ordered all the priests of the 34 parishes in the region to pay the conviction of Father Osvaldo Donizete da Silva - known as Father Barrinha. He and the Diocese of Catanduva were forced to pay around R$500,000 in compensation to a victim of sexual abuse in 2013, in the town of Sales.

The publication obtained audio recordings that revealed that the head of the diocese had sent a communiqué via WhatsApp about his decision to have all the priests pay the sentence handed down at first instance by the Urupês court.

The canonical process against Mamede is still underway, where he could be dismissed from the clerical state and even expelled from the Church.

The Diocese of Catanduva has announced on the internet that, until a new bishop is appointed and takes up the post, the Apostolic Administrator will be Bishop Luiz Carlos Dias of São Carlos.

Bishop Valdir Mamede has yet to comment on the matter. The matter remains open.



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