Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga was expected to make an appearance in El Paso Tuesday angering some Catholics who said he covered up “homosexual activity” among clergymen at his home dioceses.
Maradiaga was invited to attend the 30th anniversary of the Tepeyac Institute, which collaborates with diocesan ministries to train church ministries.
Protesters told ABC-7 they planned to protest his arrival “with signs explaining their opposition to his presence” at St. Mark’s Parish near Saul Kleinfield Drive and Pebble Hills Boulevard.
In July, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Tegulcigalpa Auxiliary Bishop Juan Jose Pineda Fasquelle, 57, accused of sexual misconduct with seminarians.
Allegations the pope ordered be investigated in 2017.
Pineda was the top deputy to Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, one of Francis’ main cardinal advisers, and his downfall is a blow to the Honduran archbishop.
The Vatican investigation had focused on both sexual misconduct allegations against Pineda and financial mismanagement charges against Maradiaga.
Francis has stood by Maradiaga’s assertion of innocence on the financial improprieties charges.
According to reports in the Italian news magazine L’Espresso, Pinedo was known to have had intimate relations with several men, including some favorites whom he bestowed with gifts.
Several seminarians reported his attempted advances.
According to the National Catholic Register, about 50 seminarians protested what they call a “widespread pattern of homosexual practice in Tegucigalpa’s major seminary.”
The publication reported that sources said Cardinal Maradiaga called the seminarians “gossipers” who are trying to bring a negative light to the church.