Barros, entre la renuncia y la rehabilitación

La Tercera

>>Barros, between renunciation and rehabilitation

January 16, 2018

By Juan Paulo Iglesias

La presencia del obispo de Osorno en los actos del Parque O’Higgins despertó dudas y polémicas. Para el biógrafo de Francisco lo que se vio fue la “rehabilitación del obispo Barros”.

“No será una visita simple”, dijo el secretario de Estado vaticano, Pietro Parolin, antes de embarcarse hacia Chile junto al Papa. Y los sucesos del segundo día de actividades lo dejaron claro, aunque fue otro tema el que concentró la atención de muchos vaticanistas que acompañan al Papa, más allá del pedido de perdón de Francisco por los abusos y el fuerte mensaje al clero que pronunció en la catedral: la situación del obispo de Osorno, Juan Barros.

La presencia del prelado en la misa que ofició el Pontífice sólo minutos después de su primer discurso en el Palacio de La Moneda fue el tema de varios medios especializados que cubren la visita y comentario obligado en la sala de prensa. Para el periodista Joshua McElwee, del National Catholic Reporter, la situación del prelado y la molestia contra Iglesia generó “una atmósfera en Santiago que no se había observado en ninguno de los otros 21 viajes” de Jorge Mario Bergoglio al extranjero en sus casi cinco años de Pontificado.

[Google Translation: The presence of the Bishop of Osorno in the acts of O’Higgins Park aroused doubts and controversy. For Francisco’s biographer what was seen was the “rehabilitation of Bishop Barros.”

“It will not be a simple visit,” said the Vatican secretary of state, Pietro Parolin, before embarking to Chile with the Pope. And the events of the second day of activities made it clear, although it was another issue that focused the attention of many Vaticanists accompanying the Pope, beyond the request for forgiveness of Francisco for the abuses and the strong message to the clergy that he delivered in the Cathedral: the situation of the Bishop of Osorno, Juan Barros.

The presence of the prelate in the Mass that the Pontiff officiated just minutes after his first speech at the Palace of La Moneda was the subject of several specialized media that cover the visit and forced comment in the press room. For the journalist Joshua McElwee, of the National Catholic Reporter, the situation of the prelate and the annoyance against the Church generated “an atmosphere in Santiago that had not been observed in any of the other 21 trips” of Jorge Mario Bergoglio abroad in his almost five years of Pontificate.

The letter of the Pope revealed only days before his arrival in Santiago and where he expressed to the Chilean bishops his concern for the subject – and whose content has not been denied by the Holy See – only came to feed more the climate of tension that has surrounded the situation. For the Vaticanista of the newspaper La Stampa, Andrea Tornielli, and one of the veterans of the papal trips, the document of 2015 reveals that the Pope had another idea and was well aware of the problem. “But it is also clear that the Pope can not remove a bishop just because people say so,” adds Tornielli, although “I believe that a man of faith would have to think about the good of his faithful and the diocese and that if he represents a matter of resistance, of division, I would have to recognize it and say I’m going for a year, two years, until the tension subsides. ”

However, other Vaticanists differ from Tornielli and claim that it is Francisco himself who is determined to keep it. “I think the plan has been to show that Barros is a bishop like the others,” says Pope biographer and founder of Catholic Voices, Austen Ivereigh, because according to him, “the Pope believes in his innocence.” “It was important for the Pope that Barros was present at today’s events and that he appear as one more bishop,” adds the British journalist.

Ivereigh goes even further: “I think that this fact, together with the fact that Bishop Barros gave several interviews, makes him consider what happened as the rehabilitation of Monsignor Barros.” In the same line of Ivereigh, other Vaticanists say that it is the Pontiff himself and not Barros who has shown a harder position for the prelate to continue in Osorno. For Tornielli, however, considering the consequences that the case has had and the situation in which the Chilean Church finds itself, “what would be needed would be a minimum of ecclesial awareness and knowing that none is indispensable (…). Humility would be the key to solving the case of Barros. “]

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