Pope sending a team to Paraguay to investigate an abuse case

Pope Francis is sending a team consisting of a cardinal and a bishop to Paraguay to investigate activities of a local priest accused of sex abuse in Pennsylvania.

The cardinal and the bishop will visit the Diocese of Ciudad del Este later in the month, said Monsignor Eliseo Ariotti.

They will look into the activities of the Rev. Carlos Urrutigoity, an Argentinian priest accused of sexually molesting minors when he served as a priest in Scranton more than a decade earlier.

He is now assistant to the bishop in Ciudad del Este and his career advance has provoked debate among local bishops as well as continuing opposition from the victims’ support group.

Urrutigoity was once accused of sexual abuse in a highly publicized lawsuit in Scranton back in 2002. He and another priest named Eric Ensey were suspended by former Bishop James Timlin because of allegations put forward that they had molested students at St. Gregory’s Academy in Elmhurst.

He was transferred to Canada before settling in Paraguay. The Pennsylvania diocese has described him as a “serious threat to young people” on their website and reiterated the concern of Timlin’s successor, Bishop Joseph Martino.

“Martino also carefully and consistently expressed his grave doubts about this cleric’s suitability for priestly ministry and cautioned the Bishop of the Diocese of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, to not allow Father Urrutigoity to incardinate into his diocese,” according to a statement on the site about putting the authority of a priest under a bishop outside his diocese.

The Vatican defrocked former papal envoy, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, last week. He may face criminal prosecution at the Vatican after an inquiry convicted him of sexual abuse.