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L.A. bishop retires after admitting he fathered two kids

January 4, 2012 |  8:31 am

Bishop Gabino Zavala

A Los Angeles bishop stepped down from his duties with the Catholic church on Wednesday after acknowledging he fathered two children.

Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Zavala, 60, told the archdiocese in December that he was the father of two teenagers who live out of the state with their mother, the Associated Press reported.

Zavala submitted his resignation with the Vatican shortly thereafter. Under Catholic doctrine, priests must take a vow of celibacy. 

Zavala filed his resignation under the code of canon law that allows bishops to apply for retirement before the age of 75 for medical purposes or for reasons making them unsuitable for their jobs, according to the AP.

Zavala grew up in L.A. and, after being ordained in 1977, was assigned to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in East Los Angeles, according to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He was named rector of St. John's Seminary in 1992, and two years later, Cardinal Roger Mahony ordained him auxiliary bishop for the San Gabriel region.

The Vatican accepted the early resignation of the bishop Wednesday.

In addition, the archdiocese has offered spiritual guidance and financial support to help pay for the children's college costs, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez said in a letter posted to a blog.

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— Angel Jennings

Photo: Bishop Gabino Zavala speaking in Los Angeles in 2000. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press

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