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Pope Francis and Oscar Cardinal MaradiagaCredit: Vatican News

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (LifeSiteNews) – The scandal-ridden Honduran prelate and close advisor to Pope Francis, Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, has announced his resignation.

Vatican journalist, Marco Tosatti, reported on his blog April 26 that Maradiaga had made his resignation announcement during the Chrism Mass he celebrated in Holy Week. The announcement has likewise been reported by Aleteia.

Tossati noted that the resignation is not immediate, even though 79-year-old Maradiaga has already submitted his mandatory resignation at age 75, which has so far not been accepted by Pope Francis.

Maradiaga is the current Archbishop of Tegucigalpa and the president of the Pope’s famous “C9” council of cardinal advisers. As such, he is deemed one of the Pontiff’s closest advisors and has been dubbed the “vice-pope.”

The cardinal has been beset with reports of financial and sexual cover-up scandals for a number of years, for which he has still refused to answer. The recently translated book Sacred Betrayals: A Widow Raises Her Voice Against the Corruption of the Francis Papacy, reveals evidence that Cardinal Maradiaga covered up the sexual abuse and misconduct of his auxiliary bishop, Juan José Pineda Fasquelle, and diverted millions of dollars of Church money to fraudulent investment schemes that have since disappeared.

The book is written by Martha Alegría Reichmann, the widow of Honduras’ ambassador to the Holy See, Alejandro Valladares. Both were friends of Maradiaga for many decades, even hosting him in their home, and Valladares’ lobbying was reportedly crucial to Maradiaga becoming the first Honduran cardinal. However, Maradiaga allegedly subsequently “betrayed” them, lost their life savings in his investment schemes, and ignored their subsequent petitions for help.

Marta Reichmann responds to Maradiaga’s resignation

Now, in a message republished by Tossati, Marta Reichmann responded to the announcement of Maradiaga’s resignation, saying that “all the wickedness of this cardinal, kept hidden since the early 1980s, is coming to light.”

His resignation comes in tandem with the extradition of former Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández to the U.S. to stand trial over drug trafficking, money laundering, and crimes “committed during a dictatorship marked by absolute corruption and full of outrages against the citizens.”

Hernández, who served as president until January this year, was supported by Maradiaga,noted Reichmann. Her book states:

Rodríguez Maradiaga visibly colluded with the regime that turned Honduras into a ‘narco-state’. As president of the bishops’ conference, he signed a letter supporting the 2009 coup. Then in Rome he denied his support, perhaps because the regime was repudiated by the international community and Rodríguez had aspirations of the papacy.

Reichmann suggested that Maradiaga’s resignation is a direct result of being without his “friend and accomplice Juan Orlando Hernández” for “protection.”

The cardinal is being “openly repudiated by his people,” she said, who “accuse him with harsh epithets: corrupt, dishonest, traitor.” Not only this, but his priests are also welcoming his resignation, claimed Reichmann, as the cardinal “committed infamous abuses by removing several priests just because they did not go along with the whims of his beloved Bishop Pineda,” all while enjoying the “open protection” of Pope Francis.

This clerical “repudiation” of Maradiaga is based on the history of how “for twenty years he protected the terrible immoral network, also from the financial point of view, directed by the former bishop Juan José Pineda, and also for having hidden the Costa Rican priest Enrique Vasquez, arrived in Honduras on the run from the Costa Rican justice for having raped children.”

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By all accounts, Bishop Daniel Fernández Torres' diocese of Arecibo in Puerto Rico is flourishing because of his adherence to the perennial teachings of the Church.

But, without any formal proceedings, Bishop Fernández Torres has been summarily 'relieved' of his episcopal duties allegedly because he championed conscience rights in the face of a Church vaccine mandate in Puerto Rico.

Please SIGN this urgent petition to Pope Francis urging him to reinstate Bishop Fernández Torres now.

To be clear, COVID-19 is a serious disease, oftentimes with debilitating consequences, or worse, for those who contract it.

However, all coronavirus vaccines currently authorized for use in the U.S. and Puerto Rico have been tested on or produced with cell lines of aborted babies. And, the vaccines have been linked to serious side effects, while none has yet completed long-term testing.

Given the complexity of this issue, the Church has determined that getting vaccinated is a matter of personal discernment which each individual must make after informing his or her conscience.

As such, the Church teaches that there is no moral obligation to be vaccinated. Indeed, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the Church's teaching authority where faith and moral are concerned, issued a statement to that effect in December, 2020.

Specifically, the CDF's, “Note on the Morality of Using Some Anti-COVID-19 Vaccines,” of December 17, 2020, n. 5 states: “At the same time, practical reason makes evident that vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary.”

Therefore, it would appear that for simply restating the current teaching of the CDF and for opposing his brother bishops in Puerto Rico on this seminal matter of conscientious objection, Rome is now attempting to "cancel" Bishop Fernández Torres.

This is wrong, unfair and discriminatory!

And, Bishop Fernández Torres is hardly the first bishop to defend Church teaching on conscientious objection on the issue of mandatory vaccination. Both the Colorado and South Dakota bishops' conferences released similar statements, and like Bishop Fernández Torres, they also offered to validate religious exemptions for member of their flock who asked to be exempted from vaccination.

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition to Pope Francis urging him to reinstate Bishop Fernández Torres.

For his part, Bishop Fernández Torres, 57, a staunch defender of life and family, protested his removal as "totally unjust" in a statement released Wednesday (3/9/2022).

The bishop, who led his diocese for nearly 12 years, noted that Pope Francis’ apostolic delegate to Puerto Rico verbally requested that he resign, but said that he refused to do so, as he "did not want to become an accomplice of a totally unjust action."

"No process has been made against me," Bishop Fernández Torres wrote, "nor have I been formally accused of anything, and simply one day the apostolic delegate verbally communicated to me that Rome was asking me to resign."

“A successor of the apostles is now being replaced without even undertaking what would be a due canonical process to remove a parish priest,” the bishop added.

“I was informed that I had committed no crime but that I supposedly ‘had not been obedient to the pope nor had I been in sufficient communion with my brother bishops of Puerto Rico,’” he said. “It was suggested to me that if I resigned from the diocese I would remain at the service of the Church in case at some time I was needed in some other position; an offer that in fact proves my innocence.”

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition to Pope Francis urging him to reinstate Bishop Fernández Torres. Thank you!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

'Pope Francis abruptly removes faithful bishop who opposed COVID vaccine mandates' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pope-francis-abruptly-removes-faithful-bishop-who-opposed-covid-vaccine-mandates/

'Puerto Rico bishop supports conscience objections to COVID vaccines, allows priests to sign exemptions' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/puerto-rico-bishop-supports-conscience-objections-to-covid-vaccines-allows-priests-to-sign-exemptions/

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Embezzling thousands and committing the ‘most infamous of betrayals’

Reports have already highlighted suspected financial misconduct on the part of Maradiaga, particularly in local press and media.

However, Marta Reichmann, referring to research undertaken by journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi, said that Maradiaga had already personally amassed over 130 million lempiras (around $5,297,110) by 2016.

“I am a victim of this cardinal because he tricked me and my husband into making an investment that turned out to be fraudulent,” she added, referring to the groundbreaking revelations made in Sacred Betrayals. “We lost our life savings in this way. Then I became a widow, but he never gave me an explanation. He turned his back on me, committing the most infamous of betrayals after a close friendship of almost forty years.”

This “betrayal” was made easier by the “power” Maradiaga enjoyed, which was bolstered by Pope Francis, Reichmann wrote.

Retiring with ‘impunity’ after a life of ‘filth and falsehood’

With Maradiaga having already submitted his mandatory resignation to Pope Francis at the age of 75, his resignation will likely be accepted this time around. But Reichmann expressed disappointment that the cardinal would escape any service of justice for his actions.

Now he is retiring as Father Marcial Maciel retired in Mexico. With complete impunity, after leading a double life full of filth and falsehood, bringing shame to the Church of Christ and to his native country.

Some of his supporters are “humble and naive people, who do not know the truth,” she said, while “others have been part of the corrupt system of the dictatorship.” 

But the former longtime friend of Maradiaga had the strongest condemnation for Pope Francis: “Still others are stubborn fanatics who put man first, and then God. And on his side remains his main friend and protector: Pope Francis.”

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