1.- Although painful we feel obliged to denounce as absolutely unbecoming to a catholic bishop the veto imposed by Mons. Mr. Mario Iceta to Mr. Andrés Torres Queiruga –a catholic theologian-. The mentioned bishop has refused the open entry to the public to the lecture programmed by the Instituto Diocesano de Teología y Pastoral. The decision itself, the way it has been taken and the contradictory information provided afterwards by the bishop in the last meeting of the Diocesan Pastoral Board from 12th November 2011 are a clear and new sign of the restorationist process he serves and we see ourselves involuntarily involved in, as well as an unacceptable way of assuming the measures undertaken by Mr. Iceta.
2.- The Permanent Committee of the Basque Priests’ Forum in Bizkaia has contrasted the truthfulness or falseness of the information provided in the Forum’s web page from last 29th July with some people of our complete trust. They have been specifically required to confirm or deny if the bishop from Vitoria offered the “diocesan seminary in Vitoria-Gasteiz as the headquarters for an interdiocesan seminary” to the bishops from Bilbao and Donostia, as well as “a collegial management of the Theology Faculty in the most suitable and respectful way according to its rules”. The required people have substantiated the veracity of the released information, considered “false” by Mr. Iceta.
3.- We would like to express our concern regarding the lack of transparency of our bishop by the appointments of the people in charge of the seminary. We are also seriously worried about his lack of interest in a deep and serious debate with regard to the type of priests the mentioned and undertaken decisions point at. Specially the absence of a responsible reflection on the suitability of that type of priests in order to face future needs of our diocesan church in Bizkaia in several Diocesan Boards.
4.- Finally, we would like to express our concern about the restlessness that these and other facts and Mr. Iceta’s way of facing them are causing in some groups of our diocese: there is a growing suspicion regarding the veracity of the information provided by the bishop. A worrying sign of a communion problem prompted by the person who should act as guarantor of unity in essential subjects, of freedom in debatable matters and of charity in all of them.
Bilbao, 14th November 2011