Clergy sex abuse and “operation truth” for Jesuits in Chile

La Croix International [France]

May 27, 2021

By Arnaud Bevilacqua

The Catholic Church in Chile continues its long and painful work of uncovering sexual abuse.

The Jesuits are the latest religious group to come forward, acknowledging that a number of its members in the South American country sexually abused at least 64 people, 34 of whom were minors when the abuse occurred. 

The admission was made in a report issued by the Society of Jesus’ Center for the Prevention of Abuse and for Reparations (CPR), according to a May 25 news story by the Agence France-Presse (AFP). 

The CPR report said 11 Jesuits in Chile were credibly accused of abuse. It said nine of them were guilty of abusive situations with sexual connotations involving 34 underage victims.

The report came after an internal investigation of the period 2005-2020.

Five of the 11 Jesuits accused are already dead and three are no longer members of the Society of Jesus.

The remaining three are currently subject to strict plans for professional supervision that involve psychological monitoring. They are also banned from having any contact with minors.

The Jesuits said they plan to make the evidence they’ve gathered available to the courts.

They said 31 of the victims were financially compensated.

The CPR report specifically looks at Renato Poblete, an influential Jesuit priest who was chaplain at the Hogar de Cristo charitable foundation. 

The priest, who died in 2010, stands accused of sexually abusing four minors and 19 adults beginning in the 1960s.

The first complaint against him came in 2019.