US Catholic Bishop Resigns Over Secret Family

Posted January 4th, 2012 at 1:05 pm (UTC-5)
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An assistant bishop of the Roman Catholic Church has resigned in California, after revealing that he has a family, including two teenage children, living in another state.

The Vatican announced Wednesday that Pope Benedict has accepted the resignation of Gabino Zavala, who had been serving in Los Angeles. The Roman Catholic Church requires that its priests remain celibate.

Zavala's superior, Archbishop Jose Gomez, said in a letter to the faithful Wednesday that Zavala had revealed his secret to him in early December. Archbishop Gomez said Zavala has since given up the ministry and will be “living privately” in the future.

Gomez also said the archdiocese of Los Angeles has offered spiritual and financial help to Zavala's mistress and children. He did not reveal their names, saying he wanted to protect their privacy.

The Catholic church in the United States has been plagued by sex scandals in recent years, leading to the resignation or firing of a number of bishops and priests.