Catholic News Service via Union of Catholic Asian News
November 5, 2020
By Lucien Chauvin
The vote came after a year of protests, many violent, against the country’s economic and political system
Cardinal-designate Celestino Aós Braco will take on his new role at one of the most critical times for Chile and its church in the past three decades.
The 75-year-old archbishop of Santiago received word about his elevation to the College of Cardinals Oct. 25, the same day Chileans voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to rewrite the country’s constitution. The vote came after a year of protests, many violent, against the country’s economic and political system.
The new cardinal, a Spaniard who was first sent to Chile in 1983, is aware that he will be at the helm of the church in Chile as the country works through the constitutional process and as the church continues to untangle a sex abuse scandal that has kept it on edge for a decade. He had served as bishop of Copiapó from 2014 to 2019, when he was named administrator, then archbishop, of Santiago, amid the clerical abuse scandal.
In the first interview since his appointment, Cardinal-designate Aós told Catholic News Service: “I hope that the people who write constitution will include fundamental values that correct flaws that led to the violence. We have to stay on the path of understanding and dialogue.”
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