Local December 15, 2014 | 5:03 pm

Busy priest is Dominican Republic-Catholic Church ‘war’s’1st casualty

Santo Domingo.- The Dominican Conference of Catholic Bishops on Monday distanced itself from the resignation of the priest Manuel Ruíz as its liaison with the Government, calling it a decision baed on "personal reasons."

By throwing Ruiz under the bus, the Catholic Church makes the priest the first casualty in the ever-escalating war of words in the heels of president Danilo Medina’s veto of legislation that would criminalize all types of abortion.

In a statement the senior prelates said Ruiz wasn’t consistent with all parts of "the criteria and position of the Dominicans bishops,” and noted that that he resigned without consulting the entity.

"We thank the Rev. Father Manuel Ruiz for his generous and friendly service provided during this time, and everything that has to do with the defense of life,” the document says.

"We also declare that the Church will continue to offer its collaboration and contribution in social works to the country and the Government, especially education, health, human development and charity; likewise will continue to provide guidance to assist decision making of the best interests of our Dominican Nation."

Busy prelate

Ruiz is known as a busy bee in Santo Domingo, where in addition to his duties with the bishops, heads two churches, two Catholic school, and a major development program for a barrio on the banks of the Ozama River.

He was also assigned the hapless task of defending Polish bishop Jozef Wesolowslki and Polish priest Wojciech Gil (Padre Alberto), both accused of sexually molesting boys.

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