Assistant bishop of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Los Angeles, Gabino Zavala, had to resign because he has a secret family, including two teenage children.
According to the Vatican,has accepted the resignation of Gabino Zavala.
The Vatican announced Gabino’s resignation on Wednesday. However, they did not give any reason for his resignation. The Vatican only said that the pope had accepted Gabino’s resignation under the norm in canon (Church law). This law states that a bishop who is ill or otherwise unfit to carry out his duties should resign.
Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez, Gabino’s direct superior, has written a letter for the faithful in the archdiocese explaining the circumstances that caused Gabino to resign. Gabino had been the assistant bishop for the San Gabriel region of California.
The letter explains that Gabino had informed Jose Gomez in early December that he was the father of two teenage children, who live with the mother in another state. According to Catholic Church rules, priests are supposed to stay celibate.
In the letter, Gomez said, “Bishop Zavala also told me that he submitted his resignation to the Holy Father in Rome, which was accepted. Since that time, he has not been in ministry and will be living privately.”
The letter goes on to state, “The Archdiocese has reached out to the mother and children to provide spiritual care as well as funding to assist the children with college costs. The family’s identity is not known to the public, and I wish to respect their right to privacy.”
Gomez then goes on to asks for prayers “for all those impacted by this situation and for each other as we reflect on this letter.”
The resignation of Gabino has not been the only problem that the diocese faced recently. In 2007, they paid $660 million in settlement for cases of sexual abuse going as far back as 1940.
Gabino is not the only official to have been found with a secret family. Father Marcial Maciel, the late leader of Christ religious order, died in 2008 and only after his death was it discovered that he had lived a double life. Similarly, Maciel, a Mexican, had abused seminarians. He also had a mistress and children.