Rome, October 6, 2017
1. Given the publication of news regarding the former rector of the Pontifical International College Maria Mater Ecclesiae, Fr. Óscar Turrión, LC, we offer the following chronology of events. Fr. Óscar has written a personal letter in which he acknowledges the fact that he has fathered children, apologizes, and requests prayers.
2. On March 27, 2017, Fr. Óscar Turrión informed the superiors that he had just had a daughter and asked them to maintain confidentiality. Upon learning of this, his superiors proceeded to ask the Holy See to appoint a new rector of the seminary, who began his term in August.
3. For his part, Fr. Óscar asked permission to live for a time outside of community to reflect and pray. His major superior granted this permission, according to the can. 665 of the Code of Canon Law, with the restriction of not exercising public priestly ministry.
4. On October 5, 2017, Father Óscar Turrión acknowledged that he had had another child with the same woman a few years ago. He also expressed his intention to leave priestly ministry and to ask for the dispensation from the obligations contracted with ordination.
5. Cardinal O’Malley, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, said in August 2017 that “if a priest has a son, he has a moral obligation to set aside the ministry and meet the needs of the mother and the child.”
6. Fr. Óscar Turrión had been a formator at the Pontifical International College Maria Mater Ecclesiae since 2007 and was appointed rector of this College for a three-year term in 2014. When he was presented to the Congregation for the Clergy as a candidate for the position of rector, as is customary, his file was reviewed and an interview was held with him. During it he said that he was suitable for the position and appreciated the trust placed in him.
7. As those responsible for an institution that is dedicated to the formation of candidates to the priesthood, we are conscious of the impact that the negative example of a formator and rector has on them and the Christian faithful. We are deeply saddened that the recent history of our congregation has quenched the fervor of some of our members. We are firmly committed to accompanying our brothers in moments of difficulty. Likewise, we reiterate our commitment to the path of renewal that we continue to follow led by the Church.
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