VATICAN CITY | BY PHILIP PULLELLA
(Reuters) – The Vatican on Tuesday strongly defended its appointment of a bishop in Chile despite protests by critics who have accused him of covering up sexual abuse.
Juan Barros was installed on March 21 as new bishop of Osorno as supporters holding white balloons and opponents carrying black ones shouted at each other during the ceremony in the city’s cathedral.
The appointment outraged some parishioners, national legislators and abuse victims who said Barros had protected one of the nation’s most notorious pedophiles and asked Pope Francis to rescind it.
Deputy spokesman Father Ciro Benedettini, in the Vatican’s first official comment on a case that has divided Chileans, said the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops had “carefully examined the prelate’s candidature and did not find objective reasons to preclude the appointment”.
Several lay members of an international commission the pope set up to advise him on how to root out sexual abuse by clergy also criticized the appointment.
Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.