(Image: Interior of the Cathedral of the Diocese of Pereira)
On January 26, OnePeterFive’s Maike Hickson reported on the case of a Colombian priest who was allegedly suspended by his bishop for refusing to go along with the quickly spreading mode of implementing Amoris Laetitia that allows communion for the divorced and remarried:
We have now a case in Colombia, the case of Father Luis Alberto Uribe Medina, who “was admonished and suspended by his Bishop because he criticized in public the new doctrine invented [sic] by Pope Francis on Marriage and the reception of the Blessed Sacrament,” according to the Catholic website Rorate Caeli.
This case has already been reported on internationally, by Marco Tosatti and Professor Roberto de Mattei in Italy and Guiseppe Nardi in Germany, among other sources. The German author, Mathias von Gersdorff, had raised, already in April of 2016, the issue of a possible forthcoming pressuring of priests to follow obediently the new rules stemming from Amoris Laetitia. In a private communication, he has reported to us that his older article has now received much attention, in the context of this Don Uribe case.
The title of von Gersdorff’s own earlier post is: “Will the [German] Bishops’ Conference Force German Priests to Commit a Sacrilege?” Von Gersdorff raises there the issue as to whether those conservative Catholics who still claim that Amoris Laetitia has not at all changed any doctrine, will come finally to resist when they, too, as priests, will be personally required to commit a sacrilege, by admitting those “remarried” divorcees to Holy Communion and also to the Sacrament of Penance. Thus von Gersdorff concludes: “They would thus be confronted with the alternative: either to commit a sacrilege or to go into public resistance against their own bishop.”
In correspondence earlier this week with Father Uribe, OnePeterFive had learned that he had every intention to continue “confessing the Holy Faith that Christ gave us,” regardless of the consequences.
Now, in an official letter that OnePeterFive has obtained, it has been revealed that Father Uribe has been reinstated by his bishop, effective yesterday, January 31, 2017:
Translated, the message reads:
The undersigned priest of the Diocese of Pereira, Luis Carlos Uribe Medina, with c.c. 10.002.552, after a fraternal dialogue with my bishop, Monsignor Rigoberto Corredor Bermudez, freely and voluntarily declares that I wish to remain under the obedience and in respect toward the Holy Father Francis and to my diocesan bishop, within the the Doctrine and Apostolic Tradition of the Church.
With the authorization of my Diocesan Bishop, I resume my priestly ministry, beginning today, the 31st of January, 2017.
Father Luis Uribe
Father Wilmar Hincapié Montoya [Vicar General of the diocese]
Rigoberto Corredor Bermúdez, Bishop of Pereira
The Spanish-language website Secretum Meum Mihi (SMM) also reports that Radio Rosa Mistica Colombia, a Catholic broadcaster, has aired a story stating that Uribe’s bishop, Rigoberto Bermúdez, has not only corrected this situation, but “now seems to have rejected Cardinal Christoph Schönborn’s interpretation of Amoris Laetitia in favor of the orthodox view on Marriage and the Eucharist.” SMM says that this information, inasmuch as it is based on the interpretation of an anonymous witness, is not verifiable.
SMM includes an update to their story based on correspondence with Radio Rosa Mistica, in which the broadcaster has stated that the information “is true.” Further:
We receive it from a source who is part of the group in which Father Luis Carlos spoke after the meeting with the bishop of Pereira. Although there is still no document on the orthodox position of the bishop, Father Luis Carlos informed these people in private that the prelate recognized his mistake, accepted the arguments of the priest whom he reinstitutes into his priestly magisterium and announced that he forbids in his diocese to give communion to the divorced and remarried in civil or free unions. Also the bishop said to be obedient, first of all, to the Sacred Catholic Doctrine…
As of this writing, no further verification of the bishop’s change in position has yet been published. Details surrounding this case and what has transpired behind the scenes remain somewhat uncertain, but some observers are already speculating that this incident may demonstrate that public backlash against heavy-handed implementations of Amoris Laetitia may be having an effect. It is also possible that such public pressure provided a feeling of support for Bishop Bermúdez in following the traditional Catholic teaching and praxis on Marriage and the reception of the sacraments of Confession and the Holy Eucharist.
OnePeterFive has placed an inquiry with both the diocese of Pereira and Fr. Uribe and will update this story if we receive a response from either.
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher and Executive Director of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have seven children.