The Latest: Police: 1.2M turn out for Pope’s last Peru Mass

Associated Press via Boston Herald

January 21, 2018

Photo caption: A protest banner that shows images of Pope Francis and Cardinal Sean O’Malley with a message that reads in Spanish: “Francisco, here we do have proof”, hangs from a building located outside the Shrine of Our Lord of the Miracles where Francis led a mid-morning prayer, in Lima, Peru, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. Francis stirred outrage when he accused victims of Chile’s most notorious pedophile priest of slander when he departed Chile on Thursday. O’Malley, Francis’ top adviser on clerical sex abuse, implicitly rebuked the pontiff for having accused Chilean victims of slander, saying that his words were “a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse.” (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

9:45 a.m.

The controversy over Pope Francis’ accusations of slander against victims of Chile’s most notorious pedophile priest has followed him to Peru.

A banner hanging from a building near the Lima church where Francis prayed on Sunday read “Francis, here there is proof” and featured a photo of the disgraced founder of a Peru-based Catholic lay movement, Sodalitium Christianae Vitae.

The Vatican last week took over the movement after Peruvian prosecutors announced they wanted to arrest the founder, Luis Figari. An independent investigation found Figari sodomized recruits and forced them to fondle him and one another, liked to watch them “experience pain, discomfort and fear,” and humiliated them in front of others.

In Chile, Francis accused victims of the country’s most notorious sexual abuser, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, of slandering another bishop by saying he knew of Karadima’s abuse but did nothing. Francis said there was “not one shred of proof” implicating the bishop and that the accusations against him were “calumny.”

The comments caused such an outcry that Francis’ top sexual abuse adviser issued a highly unusual public rebuke of the pope.

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