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Vatican suspends priestly ordinations in scandal-hit diocese
30 July 2014 12:52 by Liz Dodd

The Vatican has warned a Paraguayan bishop not to carry out any ordinations to the priesthood in a diocese in which its vicar-general has been accused of sexual abuse while working in the US.

The Church has not given an official reason for the ban on ordinations in Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano’s diocese of Ciudad del Este.

A week-long Vatican investigation into the diocese led by Spanish Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello ended on Saturday.

The investigation followed allegations that the diocese’s vicar-general, Argentine priest Fr Carlos Urrutigoity, had abused seminarians in Minnesota and Pennsylvania more than a decade ago.

Fr Urrotigoity denies the allegations.

He was reportedly removed from his post earlier this month at the request of the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Eliseo Ariotti.

Holy See spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi said Fr Urrutigoity had been "relieved of his duties" as vicar-general by Bishop Livieres on 14 July, "a few days before the visitation, on the grounds of the completion of other duties on his part”.

Bishop Livieres has defended Urrotigoity in the past.

Earlier this year a statement from the US diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, said that Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano had been warned that the priest posed “a serious threat to young people” and cautioned him “to not allow Fr Urrutigoity to incardinate into his diocese”.

Visitation follows diocese's warning against vicar-general 11 July 2014