Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Chile Wind At The Vatican

Chile's 34 bishops offer resignation to Pope

Credit: AFP/Getty Images
All Chile's 34 bishops offer resignation to Pope over sex abuse scandals - BBC News

All 34 of Chile's Catholic bishops have tendered their resignation after crisis talks in the Vatican during which Pope Francis produced a 10-page document which accused the Chilean Catholic heirarchy of neglect in sex abuse cases.

According to the report, leaked to Chile's T13 television, Pope Francis said he was ashamed that people had been pressurised into not investigating allegations fully.

The scandal centres on Bishop Juan Barros who is alleged to have used his influence and position to try to block the investigation into his mentor, Catholic priest Father Fernando Karadima. Karadima was found guilty by the Vatican of sexually abusing young boys in the 1970s and 80s but escaped criminal prosecution because of Chile's statute of limitations.

Despite the allegations against him, the Pope appointed Bishop Barros. The crisis deepened further last January when Pope Francis had to apologise for remarks he had made which implied that the accusers were liars when he told Chilean journalists who were questioning Barros' appointment, "The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, then I will speak. There is not a single piece of proof against him. Everything is slander. Is this clear?" He later apologised for hurting the abuse victims.

His remarks came at the end of a controversial papal visit to Chile which was greeted with widespread protests at his appointment of Barros and the churches handling of sexual abuse allegations.

At the end of January the Pope sent Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, the Vatican expert on child abuse, to Chile to investigate the allegations against Barros, citing 'new evidence'. It is not clear what this new evidence was. Critics might have concluded that Pope Francis took this action to make it look like he was taking the allegations seriously after all.

It is not yet clear whether any of the resignations have been accepted but expectations are that Barros' latest of several resignation offers will be.

'via Blog this'

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