Vos estis lux mundi (‘You are the light of the world’ is a motu proprio by Pope Francis, promulgated on 9 May 2019. It establishes new procedural norms to combat sexual abuse and to ensure that bishops and religious superiors are held accountable for their actions. It establishes universal norms, which apply to the whole church. The law is effective for a three-year experimental period (ad experimentum), coming into force on 1 June 2019.
In its preamble, Pope Francis affirms that:
The crimes of sexual abuse offend Our Lord, cause physical, psychological and spiritual damage to the victims and harm the community of the faithful. In order that these phenomena, in all their forms, never happen again, a continuous and profound conversion of hearts is needed, attested by concrete and effective actions that involve everyone in the Church, … Therefore, it is good that procedures be universally adopted to prevent and combat these crimes that betray the trust of the faithful.
The document was issued three months after the sexual abuse summit convened by Pope Francis at the Vatican in February 2019.
California Bishop Cantu under Vatican ‘Vos estis’ investigation
Bishop Oscar Cantu. Credit: Rendon Photography & Fine Art, Courtesy of Archdiocese of San Antonio.
By JD Flynn and Ed Condon
Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Nov 17, 2020 / 07:52 am MT (CNA).-
The Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops has ordered an investigation into Bishop Oscar Cantu’s handling of allegations of clerical sexual abuse and misconduct. The investigation is being carried out under the provisions of Vos estis lux mundi, Pope Francis’ 2019 law for holding bishops accountable in the handling of sexual abuse cases.
Senior sources in the Vatican told CNA that the investigation was ordered by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, in October and that the allegations concern Cantu’s handling of abuse and misconduct cases in his former diocese of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Cantu is now Bishop of San Jose, California.
One senior official in the Vatican congregation, who spoke to CNA on condition of anonymity because the investigation is confidential, said that Pope Francis has adopted a “zero tolerance” policy with regard to American bishops’ handling of clerical sexual misconduct.
“The Holy Father is absolutely firm that cases of abuse will not be tolerated. He is also firm that bishops must treat all of these cases with complete seriousness,” the official said.
The official went on to note that while the recently published report on the career of former cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been met with criticism in some media quarters, it would be wrong to assume no lessons have been learned from McCarrick’s case.
“The report on Theodore McCarrick was very long: long as a report and long in making the report,” he said. “The idea that past failings have not been identified and learned from is simply not true – work is being done, the new process is being applied.”
The investigation into Bishop Cantu concerns alleged actions or inactions in cases of clerical sexual misconduct in the Diocese of Las Cruces, where Cantu served as bishop from 2013 to 2018.
Vatican officials confirmed to CNA that the investigation is being carried out under the terms of Article 1, §1, b of Vos estis, which concerns “actions or omissions intended to interfere with or avoid civil investigations or canonical investigations, whether administrative or penal, against a cleric or a religious” in cases of sexual abuse.
A second Vatican official emphasized to CNA that Vos estis investigations are preliminary, and that no formal charges have been brought as yet.
“This is not a trial – not a trial,” he stressed. “The bishop has every presumption of innocence and remains in office, as is proper. The process will continue and develop as is appropriate.”
Both officials declined to comment on the specific accusations against Cantu, or whether they concern any clergy still in ministry.
Both officials told CNA the investigation is being overseen by Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix. Vos estis ordinarily foresees that the local metropolitan archbishop, in this case Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe.
It is not clear why Olmsted was preferred to Wester; neither Vatican official commented to CNA on the reasons for the decision, but they confirmed Olmsted had been informed of the decision in late October via the apostolic nuncio in Washington, D.C.
In response to questions regarding the investigation and Olmsted’s role in it, the Diocese of Phoenix told CNA it did “not have any information to share on this matter.”
A spokesperson for the Diocese of San Jose told CNA Monday evening that “Bishop Cantu has not been notified of any inquiry regarding this matter.”
Vos estis lux mundi offers latitude for Vatican offices to decide the stage at which a bishop under investigation is notified of that fact. A source close to the investigation into Cantu told CNA that the bishop is not expected to be formally notified in this case until the conclusion of the preliminary investigation, at which time Cantu will be permitted to offer a defense of allegations against him.
The Diocese of Las Cruces has faced multiple accusations of sexual abuse against clergy, dating back decades.
In February 2019, after Cantu had left the diocese, it ordered the public release of thousands of pages of diocesan records concerning 28 priests who had been credibly accused of sexual abuse.
Also in February last year, the diocese announced that chancery officials had voluntarily handed over diocesan personnel files to the New Mexico Attorney General, and that they had discovered that an additional 13 priests were the subject of credible accusations in other dioceses.
The Diocese of Las Cruces was erected in 1982; many of the priests who have served in the diocese were sent there on temporary or permanent transfer from other U.S. dioceses, or by religious orders.
The diocese maintains an updated list of clergy credibly accused of abuse and, as recently as August, Bishop Peter Baldacchino acted to remove faculties from a retired priest over historical accusations of abuse dating back to the 1990s.
A spokesman for the Diocese of Las Cruces declined to comment on the matter.
Cantu, 53, became a bishop in 2008, when he was appointed an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of San Antonio. He became Bishop of Las Cruces in 2013, and was coadjutor bishop of San Jose in 2018. He formally took the reins of that diocese in May 2019. Cantu, a native of Houston, was ordained a priest of the Houston archdiocese in 1994.
CNA requested comment on the investigation from the Apostolic Nunciature to the United States, but did not receive a response by deadline.
Bishops Michael Hoeppner of Crookston and Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn are also under Vos estis lux mundi Vatican investigations.
It is good that the church is holding bishops and religious superiors accountable for covering up abuse.
We need to see people being punished for cover up.
ABBOT BRENDAN COFFEY
Abbot Brendan Coffey should face a Vos Estis investigation over his activities in Silverstream.
PURCELL / MELLERARY UPDATE.
The Roman advocate engaged by Robert Hourigan and associates gave the Abbot General of the OCSO’s until close of business yesterday to act on the Purcell affair.
As far as we know the advocate has not heard from the AG.
That being the case the advocate will now proceed to request the Irish nuncio to notify the Vatican Secretariat of State of upcoming proceedings.
The advocate will also proceed to draw up the necessary papers and lodge them with the appropriate Vatican dicastery.
That is all underway today.
ABBOT GENERAL EAMON FITZGERALD
Will Fitzgerald face a Vos Estis investigation over what happened in Roscrea and Mount Mellerary?
78 replies on “CALIFORNIA BISHOP UNDER VATICAN “VOS ESTIS” INVESTIGATION.”
The Maynooth classpiece of 2005, featuring Dom Richard and Rory Coyle.
Dermo Meehan loves retreats in abbeys
Dom Richard, 2005
Neil Dargan, 1989
Ah! That explains a lot. No doubt Rory is advising him. Learn from the mistakes of the past.
Given that Bergoglio has been involved in the cover up of sexual abuse himself this is just the usual bullshit of saying all the right things and doing sweet F A. as usual.
Let’s see if Pope Frankie likes it when the Laity plays the Church at its own game. Once the papers have been filed and the Nuncio has been informed then it’s game on for the media.
This is all smoke and mirrors, not least because Cantu is being permitted to remain in office while under investigation. This is not ‘right and proper’.
Oh Ye of Little Faith @10.53.
Pope Francis is very clearer it is not happening in the Church he cannot be any clearer
However the process is to slow and hopefully that will get addressed.
The currents Abbotts referred to on this blog will likely be in post well into 2021as they are not going to resign no they think sail the Storm.
The Bishops need to stop their faculties in their respective Dioceses but them seem not to be and Rome will ask why.
The Church of Pope Francis want Holy Loyal Priests and Religious and the rest can go. However they will hang on for the accommodation and money no morals.
Possible date for Dublin this Saturday or 8th December in Honour of Our Lady for Ireland.
Is English your first language?
The illiterate gay Irishman who lives in Scotland strikes again.
Abbot Eamon deserves a vos kick up the ass for divulging what he divulged to you.
So you prefer to conceal such behaviour?
I suppose that would be par for the course, Father.
Why are you concealing your identity? Some things need to be concealed.
Concealing in order to deceive about someone’s, or some institution’s, true character is not acceptable.
The RCC surely has learned that much. Hasn’t it? 🤔
Nothing evil will be concealed- eventually all will be revealed in the light of Christ; like when switching on a bright tourch in the darkness of night!
Always try to keep your spiritual batteries charged; use a good and reliable brand… Ever Ready! x
Just place your trust in Him, even when the road is rocky and you feel abandoned; when tearful and fearful- He will bring all things into their rightful place.
It is the Lord who speaks.
Blessed be the name of the Lord! x
Yes, he does. We really can’t be having our holy men going around telling the truth.
Hello Bella, are you still hangin’ out at Harrington Rd?
I think Frank is doing his best. Who the hell would want his job? Not me. God love him and save him the creature.
Pope Francis is doing his best? You’re kidding, right? Pulling people’s legs?
The victims of sexual abuse by Romanist priests in Argentina would not agree with you, since the lardy Latino refused their requests to meet them while he was cardinal archbishop of Buenos Aires.
Bergoglio is a hypocrite.
He is King Of the Hypocrites.
Sister Sledge- Frankie lyrics
The biggest part of the problem is, he is a Bertone-Sodano man and when he retires there will be even more Bertone-Sodano men in power than ever.
More clerical child abuse, cover ups and gay clerical sex, this, it would appear, is what defines the catholic church today. Rawhide will follow the Woulfe strategy and survive
Can you please pray for my partner. He is in hospital with Covid. He’s only 26 and has an underlying health issue. I am so worried. I don’t know where to turn to.
Please please please pray for him
Of course I will. I will offer Mass for him at 5.30 pm today. http://www.bishoppatbuckley.org
Can I have his first name?
7:33 am. I will also pray for your partner, stay strong and know love and prayers are here x
He’s lucky to have someone love him so much.
Say ‘Jesus, you take care of him’. And he will, if you hand over to him your concerns entirely. So no more worrying. Your beloved partner could not be in better hands, and those hands will work in proportion to your act of surrender to his will.
I guess if they resign or step aside, it would be very difficult to find replacement abbots, even temporarily. It’s not like Silverstream full of under thirty-fives, handpicked by the resident ol’ ginger, most the monks left at the other places can hardly walk unaided. Perhaps the great See of Killaloe can help in this delicate matter.
Oh No plenty for Glenstal as some think Abbot Brendan jumped the queue.
And Mark would likely like another go.
However Brendan is full of himself look at You Tube however strangely enough they have taken the names of the community and when they professed off the web site.
Brendan will not go he will hang on and still hope for a Diocese somewhere.
Oh, well, that’s okay then, some of the comments have previously suggested only a handful of old monks are left in places like Mt Melleray and Dom Richard was little more than a care home manager.
I am sure the See of Killaloe will guide him to happiness. He is a friend of the ol’ ginger at the other place as well.
Good morning. Beautiful sunshine here today. Time for a lovely cup of tea.
@ 9:34 am
Good morning to you. Sounds nice. Barry’s Lyons or Earl Grey?
Asda Smart Price.
I won’t have Barry’s tea in the house, not since Peter Barry was in cahoots with the Provos to destroy Ulster through the foul Anglo-Irish Agreement.
Oooh, she’s off again lol.
You pop that kettle on, luv, and put your feet up. Get the biccies out as well.
Lilly savages said she loves a good old fashioned Blackpool breakfast… a pot of tea, and 20 ciggies and a full, no holes barred, goss with all the old ladies before herding to the bingo hut on the north pier. Heaven 🤣 x
@7.33 Sorry to hear of your partner’s illness. Even if Pat doesn’t pray for him, I will, and I sincerely hope that he makes a full recovery. Sending you prayers and best wishes, and to everyone involved in his treatment.
@ 7:33 am
Job done. Amen.
How much does it cost?
Asda Smart Price tea bags – 39p for a pack of 40.
Don’t knock them! They are nice.
We have a big tub of them in the sacristy for when we do the cleaning with my old ladies.
We also have a massive tupperware full of Viscounts, jammy dodgers, choccy hobnobs, kit kats, penguins, blue ribbons, Jaffa cakes – I think you get the picture haha x
At this church we use Tesco’s Moscatel De Valencia for Communion wine… does anybody know which cosy little sacristy in Liverpool this is? ?
(A little clue: it’s high church 🙄) ? Lol
Peter, you are not supposed to use supermarket wine in church, but are meant to use special church wine, though I suppose if it’s an Anglican service it does not really matter either way.
Fortigied wine is fortified wine. Whst is ‘special’ about Church wine, apart from the price and the fact that it provides a tidy revenue for monks and nuns?
@5.09pm nonsense! My local RC cathedral uses Sainsbury’s Boxed White Wine!
Peter, Tuebrooke or LPC?
Prayers for you and your partner @7.33. I can only imagine how stressful it is for you
@ 12:19 pm
Are you hauled up in ‘The Cavern’ banging a drum for Asda or does pontifical secret
prevent you from saying?
1:50 pm. That has just made me howl haha.
I bang my own drum, hun!
Some thought it was noise – His Honour thought it was pretty!
Only a dangerous psychopath (or a fully blown narcissist with Borderline Personality Disorder) could genuinenly believe interagency collaboration in keeping of such serious ‘secrets’ and – most certainly not “pontifical” secrets –
and what do pontifical secrets usually entail?
Good me the words: ‘pontifical’ and ‘secret’ and see what filth fills your screen
We have numerous “Generals” “Immediates” “Superiors” etc etc etc in Canada England and half way across the world, plus a number of bishops. A fake “bollocking” is better than a Benny Me Rentie to them.
Don Franco doesn’t care about unwanted sex, nor wrong money. The whole lot of the aforementioned know all the motives for all the transfers of all the monetary sums – whose back was that scratching? What they need is very deep very towering black clouds over the lot of them. Permanently.
All the aforementioned culprits deliberately make it difficult for charity regulators, school regulators and police.
My luck was to be real (and not fake) laity. Vocations nada. As real laity you make no actual promises and your life is totally your own and doesn’t belong to anybody else’s religion: keep it that way. If you are about to become a seminarian don’t give any of your properties away because you will need to support yourself.
I’ll take your word. I want to be able to sleep tonight!
@ 6:53 pm
The Beatles- Ain’t She Sweet
12.32: Any possibility you might rewrite your comment in proper, decipheral English so that we know you are not a true philistine?? But only if you have something worthwhile to say…
Thank you Pat. His name is Tony.
We are so worried. Thank you to everyone who has said prayers.
Please continue to pray for him.
It seems entirely possible that Abbot Purcell will fall doubly under the condemnation of “Vos estis” — first as someone who had sex, in the monastery guesthouse, with a man discerning (re)joining the monastery (thus, under “Vos estis”, a “vulnerable adult”), and second as someone who helped “clean up” a credible complaint against Dom Kirby, who himself sexually harassed a man in formation at Silverstream (thus, again, a “vulnerable adult”). And, as a bonus, if the visitation helped “clean up” credible accusations of financial misdeeds at Silverstream, Purcell would be in hot water here as well. Congrats, Dick!
Oooh someone, obviously doesn’t like Dick <<>>
Something tells me Dick does not like himself very much.
And Brendan wanted to cover it all up as well shame on Brendan or Joe.
If he gets a diocese will it be Bishop Brendan or Bishop Joe.
Somehow after this he certainly will not be a Lordship.
J.S. Bach: Adagios- Sheep may safely graze
The sex in the monastery guest house may not have been as consensual as alleged.
It could be argued that there was a power imbalance in the relationship and that the priest involves was preyed upon rather than prayed upon.
Sadly, we would expect better behaviour from both men.
When Covid -19 restrictions are lifted, I’m booking into every monastery and retreat guest house I can find.
5.26: Really, Wonder Dog? Every monastery….unless the monks use viagra, you’ll find inly limp bananas… nothing….You idiot. If sex happened in a guesthouse between 2 grown nen….it was consensual…very definitely. I do n8t belueve there was any imbalance. It’s one man’s word against another in such scenarios..
Is there any such thing as an adult who is not vulnerable?
Don’t be hard work. We are speaking here of abuse of authority/power.
Adults under the authority or guidance of others, in particular if that association is accepted as divinely ordered, are susceptible and may tend to unquestioning obedience. They are, therefore, more than commonly vulnerable.
Carpenters – Jambalaya [ lyric ]
@ 6:07 pm. Take a chill pill, honey.
And, I don’t claim it was an imbalance – I said it could be interpreted that way.
I have no problem with consensual sex between gay men – I wish was getting some – hence my little attempt at humour about checking out retreat houses. I’ll concede it might not be as funny as I thought it was.
Whether you like it or not though, if one party is ’hosting’ another while they are trying to come to a decision – there is an issue of inappropriate behaviour and an issue of preying.
It is also my understanding that a sworn affidavit from one of the parties involved to say the sex was consensual. ( I could be wrong about this ) That still makes it one version of a story against another. I’m a betting man and I’d put my money on the version that says Richard Purcell engaged in sex as alleged. He has yet to deny it and I would say it’s because he can’t and because it calls into question his ’abbatial authority’ as someone else so grandly put it. I prefer the simple statement, he’s a lying hypocrite.
I also know that Dom Eamon told Pat Buckley that he thought that Purcell’s ’indiscretion’ was a one-off. An incident that they were happy to overlook. I fully understand that it is possible for a man to fail and such indiscretions should be overlooked but it would appear that the good Dom Purcell is well known on the gay scene and I would venture to say that it’s not because he feels he has a vacation to minister to the gay community -to save them from their intrinsic disorder. It’s because his ’indiscretion’ was not a one-off but indicative of a lifestyle incompatible with the one he would stood before God and his community and professed.
It’s Pat Buckey’s word against….. Well, why would Pat lie. His blog has a long history of getting to the truth. That truth,for many, is unpalatable but that doesn’t make it false.
@7.21pm Another example of the drunk loons, malcontents , ex sems and wanna be priests who got rejected who frequent this blog. I occasionally look in for a good old chuckle and the contributors never change – a bit like the weather.
The Tablet is a very good read this week.
@ ok mystic Meg, now that you have popped in for your occasional chuckle and given us your valuable??. insights into nature of the contributors, trot back to your crystal ball and see if you can divine something more interesting to contribute.
How do you pass your time?
This guy – also called Peter C – has the same interests as me haha.
We just love radio, networking and all things geeky!
Nokia – keeping people connected lol x
You are correct with your analysis.
YES, Abbot Brendan of Glenstal actively sought to cover-up Purcell’s behaviour by seeking a statement of exculpation. This is confirmed by the e-mail that he sent to the whistle-blower seeking his participation. He is wholly unsuitable for any episcopal appointment. Any so-called “visitation” he has been involved in the past — if any negative findings were made, they should be reopened, because his credibility is non-existent. In due course, Brendan’s e-mails will be made public, however, there are certain sensitivities that need to be respected at the moment.
@Fanny The Wonder Dog
Your original posting does highlight what is fundamentally wrong with Purcell’s behaviour. The sexual act in the monastery guesthouse was clearly an abuse of abbatial authority. It raises fundamental questions that will be addressed in another forum in due course.
In your second posting you make a fundamental observation that seems to be wilfully obscure to those who post on this matter – why would Pat Buckley wilfully and deliberately traduce the reputation of Dom Richard Purcell? The simple harsh reality is that Pat Buckley has written as you remarked the unpalatable truth.
9.21: 🍓🍌🍌🍌🍌🍌🍌🍌🍌.. suck a bananna, Hoop La…..it reduces stress levels….🍌🍌🍌🍌🍌…only of the fruit variety!!
Bishop Pat in the Irish Catholic rag this evening edited by Mr Kelly (cough cough) the Dublin priests are at their wits end that the diocese will soon run out of money to pay them and it’s in such a state financially. Dermo will look after himself first. The financial mismanagement by Dermo is now becoming apparent. Epic scale. A shocker and scandal soon to be revealed. Okolo is totally oblivious to the scale of it and doesn’t want to know. He is totally ignoring all corresondence.
” Mistakes of the past can be rectified.”
Archbishop Okolo wants out they should send Charlie Brown back to clean it up as part of it is his doing.
The Archdiocese is rich in property and investments and will need to sell some.
It is not the only Dioceses that is going to be bankrupt in few years that’s what is stopping the amalgamations as other Dioceses do not want the burden.
If Dermo hadn’t sold Clonliffe for half its true value the Dublin clergy wouldn’t be in this pickle.