Chilean Jesuits Recognize 64 Cases Of Sexual Abuse

Barron's [New York NY]

May 25, 2021

By Agence France-Presse

The Jesuit congregation of Chile has acknowledged that its priests sexually abused 64 people, including 34 children, between 2005 and 2020, according to a report from the Catholic order obtained by AFP Tuesday.

Eleven Jesuit priests were found guilty following an internal investigation of “abusive situations with a sexual connotation” involving underage victims, according to the report by the Society of Jesus, known colloquially as the Jesuits.

Of the perpetrators, “five have died, three are currently under strict professional supervision plans, and another three are no longer part of the Society of Jesus,” said the order.

The Jesuit order said that since 2018 it has been providing authorities background to the abuse allegations.

It added that 31 of the victims have received financial compensation.

Amongst those found guilty was Renato Poblete, the late former Jesuit leader who allegedly abused four minors and 19 adults over four decades from 1960.

Poblete, who died in 2010, spent almost 20 years as the head of the Hogar de Cristo, the country’s largest foundation for the homeless.

He was first accused of abuse in 2019, after which the Jesuit congregation asked for forgiveness.

The Chilean Catholic Church has been embroiled in sexual abuse scandals since 2010 when pedophile priest Fernando Karadima was first accused of molesting boys.

A Vatican canonical court found him guilty in 2011 and in 2018 he was defrocked by Pope Francis.

His case helped expose a culture of sexual abuse within the Church in Chile.