Pope’s abuse experts voice concerns over appointment of Chilean bishop accused of cover-up

The Tablet

27 March 2015 by Abigail Frymann Rouch, Isabel de Bertodano

Members of Pope Francis’ safeguarding board have expressed concern over his appointment of a Chilean bishop to a diocese despite accusations that he covered up child abuse by a priest.

Marie Collins, an abuse survivor, said she could not understand how Bishop Juan Barros could have been appointed given the concerns about his handling of allegations regarding Fr Fernando Karadima.

“It goes completely against what he [Francis] has said in the past about those who protect abusers,” Collins told the Associated Press. “The voice of the survivors is being ignored, the concerns of the people and many clergy in Chile are being ignored and the safety of children in this diocese is being left in the hands of a bishop about whom there are grave concerns for his commitment to child protection.”

Ms Collins is a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, which was set up in 2014 under the leadership of Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

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