Despite news reports to the contrary, a Chilean court denied Monday that it’s reached a conclusion in favor of three victims of clerical sexual abuse who are suing the Archdiocese of Santiago for covering up abuses by former priest Fernando Karadima.
Pope Francis’ silence about allegations by his former ambassador to the U.S. that he knew of abuses against seminarians by former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is, for some, no more disconcerting than his silence regarding Chile, where three bishops have been subpoenaed by the prosecutor’s office to give testimony about possible abuse cover-ups.
A Chilean prosecutor last weekend announced plans to bring an “historical trial” against the Catholic Church for attempting to hide or eliminate evidence related to clerical sexual abuse, confirming what Pope Francis said in May in a letter to the country’s bishops’ conference: “We know that there were religious who destroyed evidence.”
Despite repeated attempts to distance himself from his country’s sexual abuse crisis, including recently asserting there’s a climate of “slander” against the Catholic Church, Chilean Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati of Santiago is facing mounting scrutiny for his role in the scandals both from outside the Church and within.
After an in-depth Vatican-led investigation into clerical sexual abuse and cover-ups, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of 61-year-old Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, Chile, and two other Chilean bishops June 11.
Every bishop in Chile offered his resignation to Pope Francis after a three-day meeting at the Vatican to discuss the clerical sexual abuse scandal.
A Chilean bishop acknowledged the damage inflicted on survivors of clerical sex abuse and the mishandling of cases by church leaders in the country.
In a letter to the bishops of Chile, Pope Francis apologized for underestimating the seriousness of the sexual abuse crisis in the country following a recent investigation into allegations concerning Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno.
Looking to put Chile’s sex abuse scandal behind him, Pope Francis dives Wednesday into another divisive issue roiling the South American nation: the plight of the indigenous Mapuche and their long-running conflicts with government authorities.
When it comes to papal travel, more often than not, the news lies in the “what” of the trip: what message the pope wants to give a particular country, or even a continent, once he gets there. Other times, however, the news is in the “where,” meaning the message comes across loud and clear well before the pontiff actually arrives.