POPE FRANCIS ACCEPTS RESIGNATION OF LA AUXILIARY BISHOP SALAZAR
Today, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Alexander Salazar for early retirement. Bishop Salazar, 69, most recently served as Vicar for the Office of Ethnic Ministries of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
The announcement comes after Archbishop José H. Gomez requested a full review of all allegations of sexual misconduct involving minors to bring up to date the 2004 Report to the People of God lists of accused priests. In a letter issued today to the faithful of the Archdiocese, Archbishop Gomez stated that he requested and received permission from the Congregation for Bishops at the Holy See to have the Archdiocese’s independent Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board review a past allegation against Bishop Salazar of misconduct in the 1990s before he was ordained a bishop.
The Archdiocese was first informed in 2005 through a third party of an allegation reported directly to law enforcement in 2002 by a young adult alleging misconduct in the 1990s when Bishop Salazar was a priest and the alleged victim was a minor. Law enforcement had investigated the allegation and recommended that the District Attorney seek prosecution. The District Attorney did not file charges in the case.
Cardinal Roger Mahony, who was Archbishop when the Archdiocese was informed of the allegation, requested an immediate review of the case with law enforcement officials. Since the matter involved a bishop of the Catholic Church, according to the requirements of Canon Law, he also reported the allegation to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Holy See. The Congregation investigated and permitted Bishop Salazar to remain in ministry subject to certain precautionary conditions, which he has respected. Bishop Salazar has consistently denied the allegation. The Archdiocese has not received any other allegations involving Bishop Salazar.
Applying the standards used when reviewing allegations of sexual misconduct concerning priests and deacons, the Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board’s review of the matter found the allegation to be credible and recommended to Archbishop Gomez that Bishop Salazar should not have faculties to minister. Archbishop Gomez accepted the recommendation and submitted it to the Holy See.
“I am grateful for the Holy Father’s loving concern for the family of God here in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles,” said Archbishop Gomez. “These decisions have been made out of deep concern for the healing and reconciliation of abuse victims and for the good of the Church’s mission. Let us continue to stay close to victim-survivors of abuse through our prayers and actions.” (For the full text of the Archbishop’s letter, visit https://angelusnews.com/voices/archbishop-gomez/full-text-letter-regarding-auxiliary-bishop-salazars-retirement)
Bishop Salazar was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles on June 16, 1984. During his time as a priest he served as Associate Pastor at St. Gregory the Great in Whittier from 1984-1988; Associate Pastor at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Pasadena from 1988-1992; Associate Pastor at the former St. Vibiana Cathedral in Los Angeles from 1992-1994; Administrator/Pastor at St. Teresa of Avila in Los Angeles from 1994-2004; and Vice Chancellor at the Archdiocesan Catholic Center from 2003-2004. He was installed as a bishop on November 4, 2004 and served as Regional Bishop for the San Pedro Region of the Archdiocese until 2009 and then as Vicar for the Office of Ethnic Ministries.