Cardinal Jean Luis Cipriani of Lima, Peru, has charged that publicity surrounding the removal of another Peruvian prelate is a “circus” orchestrated to discredit him.
The cardinal complained that Bishop Gabina Miranda Melgarejo was removed from office when he “hasn’t had the change to defend himself” against charges of sexual abuse. Moreover, the Peruvian cardinal said that news of the bishop’s removal broke just as Cardinal Cipriani was traveling to Rome for a visit with Vatican officials.
Bishop Miranda, an auxiliary of the Ayaucho archdiocese, was removed from office after the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith investigated sex-abuse charges against him. Bishop Miranda has denied the charges, although he admitted to imprudent conduct.
Cardinal Cipriani said that the news of Bishop Miranda’s removal, which broke in September, was timed to embarrass him on the eve of a private audience with Pope Francis. News accounts prominently mentioned Bishop Miranda’s involvement with Opus Dei, of which Cardinal Cipriani is a member. “We have nothing to hide,” the cardinal said, “but I don’t think banishing someone who hasn’t had the chance to defend himself, taking advantage of my visit to Rome and announcing things that have nothing to do with me is a very honest thing to do.”
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