12-May-2000 -- Catholic World News Brief |

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CARDINAL SAYS NO PUNISHMENT FOR BISHOPS WHO 'ORDAINED' FEMALE DEACONS

MEXICO CITY (CWNews.com) - A Vatican cardinal visiting Mexico said two bishops, formerly of the Chiapas region, will not be punished for ordaining female deacons and using pagan Mayan rites, but the diocese will brought in line with Catholic teaching, Mexican media reported this week.

Retired Bishop Samuel Ruiz of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, and his former co-adjutor bishop Rual Vera, now of Saltillo, reportedly ordained female deacons among more than 300 ordained in the last days of his leadership of the largely Indian diocese. They also allegedly allowed the use of Mayan pagan religious texts during Masses..

Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, who was in Mexico for the Second National Eucharistic Conference, said bishops Ruiz and Veras will not be sanctioned for the breaches of Church doctrine. He added the investigation is ongoing and will be continued from the Vatican.

Bishop Ruiz served the Chiapas region as bishop for 40 years, retiring earlier this year upon reaching the age limit according to canon law. He was recently replaced by Bishop Felipe Arizmendi from another diocese in the region. Bishop Ruiz had also been accused of supporting the ongoing Zapatista Indian rebellion against the government.



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