FROM ALAN McE LWAIN IN ROME
POPE PAUL was reported to have received with consternation "mixed with dismay" the news that one of the Church's youngest bishops, 41-year-old Auxiliary Bishop Mario Renato Cornejo Radavero, of Lima, Peru. had not only resigned his episcopal office but also renounced his priesthood.
Coming so soon after the recent departure from his own "pontifical family" of Mgr. Giovanni Musantc. who left the priesthood to he married, the Peruvian prelate's action was doubly painful to the Pope.
Bishop Radavero, youngest of three auxiliaries to Cardinal Juan Landazuri Ricketts, Archbishop of Lima, was also reported to have marriage in view, but this has not been confirmed.
The Vatican newspaper Osser vatore Romano referred to the case of Bishop Cornejo Radavero on Tuesday. It also mentioned priests who get engaged, priests who support armed revolution to obtain social justice, and those who challenge the authority of their bishops.
"The scarce adhesion to the spirituality from which our truest life comes leaves us in prey to the world and its impetuous and clashing changes," said the newspaper. "No one can deny that today we live in a phase of this type. The episodes that painfully disturb us constitute a proof—these also are 'signs of the time' and certainly not positive ones."
"EXTREMELY PAINFUL" Bishop Radavero was ordained in December. 1952. when he was almost 25, and
became a bishop in 1963, when he was only 33.
Newspaper reports say he explained to Cardinal Landazuri Ricketts that, because of the Church's present ambiguous and confused situation, it had become extremely painful and difficult for him to continue carrying the burden of his pastoral responsibilities.
Addressing newly ordained priests this week, Pope Paul referred pointedly to the need for them to donate themselves absolutely, completely and for ever to Christ's person, so as to become "obedient, responsible and fervid living instruments of Christ, the eternal priest, in order to continue, through the years. His marvellous work which restored the whole of mankind with divine efficacy."
The priesthood, Pope Paul said, was "an immense gift, entrusted to our frail human hands and to be cared for with our increasing love."