Cardinals in the spotlight as Chile’s crisis continues to reverberate


May 23, 2018

By Inés San Martín

[Note: This article quotes from a Letter to the Editor by Cardinal Errázuriz.]

Chile’s ongoing Catholic crisis remains fluid, with Pope Francis summoning another group of victims of clerical abuse to Rome, a cardinal accused of covering up those abuses continuing to claim he’s innocent, and yet another Prince of the Church who risks losing Chilean citizenship.

Here’s a rundown of the latest developments, after the Chilean bishops offered Francis their resignations en masse. During a summit meeting in Rome last week, the pontiff didn’t name names, but he did say there’s evidence that at least some covered up cases of clerical sexual abuse, mishandled accusations, failed to protect children, and destroyed damaging evidence.

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A cardinal tries to defend himself [again]

Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz, emeritus Archbishop of Santiago and a member of Pope Francis’s “C9” council of cardinal advisers, published a letter in one of Chile’s newspapers, La Segunda, on Tuesday. In it, he responded to a story from last week, the headline of which was “What to do with Errázuriz, [Cardinal Ricardo] Ezzati and [Archbishop Ivo] Scapolo.”

The three clerics have been accused by victims of Chile’s most notorious pedophile priest of not providing Francis with accurate information.

Furthermore, both Errázuriz and Ezzati, currently the archbishop of Santiago, have been accused of covering up for Karadima, and his victims want to see both cardinals stand trial for it.

According to Errázuriz, the story from Friday the 18th spreads “falsehoods and defamations,” which led him to write a letter to the editor of the paper, in “respect of the truth and the readers.”

Regarding the accusations that he misinformed the pope on the case of Bishop Juan Barros, whom Francis transferred to the southern diocese of Osorno in 2015, the cardinal said that it hadn’t been him. Accusations arose in April, when the pope sent a letter to Chile’s bishops saying that he’d made grave errors of judgement, in part because he didn’t have accurate information.

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.