Argentinian Catholic Bishop Steps Down Days Before Installation, Marking Second Consecutive Resignation

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Bishop Gustavo Larrazábal the auxilary bishop of San Juan de Cuyo in Argentina resigned, Wednesday, January  17, 2024, just three days before his installation and 35 days after Pope Francis appointed him as Bishop of Mar del Plata in eastern Argentina.

This makes him the second Argentine bishop to resign in a row after the Pope had nominated Larrazábal on the day that he accepted the resignation of 65-year-old Bishop José María Baliña, 22 days after he had named him as the head of the diocese serving around 774,000 Catholics.

Baliña’s resignation letter to the Catholics of Mar del Plata dated, December 5, 2023, said that he had struggled following surgery for a retinal detachment and had decided to resign after further discernment and consultation with the Holy Spirit.

“I share with you that after a process of discernment and prayer carried out very conscientiously, I have concluded that it is not opportune to assume the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Mar del Plata and I have presented my resignation to Pope Francis, who with much understanding accepted it. For this reason, I will continue my service as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of San Juan, ” Larrazábal said.

The Holy See Press Office gave no reason for Larrazábal’s resignation but indicated he would remain auxiliary bishop of San Juan de Cuyo.

The Pope appointed Bishop Ernesto Giobando auxiliary bishop, as the apostolic administrator of Mar del Plata until a new bishop is named.

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