VATICAN CITY (AP) — After coming under excoriating public criticism, Pope Francis decided Tuesday to send the Vatican’s most respected sex crimes expert to Chile to investigate a bishop accused by victims of covering up for the country’s most notorious pedophile priest.
The Vatican said Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna would travel to Chile “to listen to those who have expressed the desire to provide elements” about the case of Bishop Juan Barros.
The move marks the first known time the Vatican has launched a full-blown investigation into allegations of sex abuse cover-up, and it comes after Francis was harshly criticized by the media, survivors of abuse, his fellow Jesuits and some of his top advisers for his unwavering defense of Barros.
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