Pope Francis remarks on the Ecuadorian diocese's poor leadership and moral failings
The resignations of Bishop Julio Parrilla Diaz, who turned 75 last month, and his deputy, Monsignor Gerardo Miguel Nieves Loja, 53, were accepted by Pope Francis this week in Rome. We are glad to learn of these resignations but hope more action comes from the Vatican.
We also applaud the Spanish missionary in Riobamba, Julia Serrano, for raising awareness and fearlessly calling out the poor leadership of Bishop Parrilla. More importantly, she shed light on the suitability of the Bishop's potential successor, Msgr. Nieves, who has also resigned. Serrano wrote in a Catholic blog, "Redes Cristianas," about a culture of homosexuality among diocesan clerics as well as “a number of priests with children in the diocese, some recognized and others not.”
We suspect that Catholic officials in Ecuador have underreported the damage caused by abusive priests, nuns, and religious orders. Concealing the truth and deceiving the people seems to us to be almost a requirement for the hierarchy. It is no surprise that Bishop Parilla's second in command is not staying around either; more likely than not, he knows too much about the problems.
We hope that Pope Francis keeps Ecuador and the safety of children among his concerns. We genuinely hope a full internal investigation will uncover the trail of destruction, but any evidence of crimes against innocent children must be given to law enforcement so that an independent probe can take place.