Chilean Bishops in Rome for Likely Tense Meeting with Pope
By Nicole Winfield
May 12, 2018
Chilean bishops are arriving in Rome ahead of an expected brow-beating next week from Pope Francis, who says he was misled about a bishop at the center of the Chilean Church's sex abuse scandal.
One top-ranked churchman is apparently not coming: Cardinal Javier Errazuriz, retired archbishop of Santiago, who sits on Francis' kitchen cabinet. Abuse survivors have laid much of the blame for the scandal on Errazuriz, whom they accuse of discrediting victims and covering up abuse rather than punishing pedophiles.
The executive committee of the Chilean bishops conference said Thursday the 30-plus bishops were coming with "humility and hope." They praised Francis' recent meetings with victims of the Rev. Fernando Karadima of Chile.
Francis had invited Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo to the Vatican so he could personally apologize for having discredited them during his January trip to Chile. Francis had said their accusations against a Karadima protege, Bishop Juan Barros, were "calumny" and demanded they present proof of his wrongdoing.
The men, who had frequented Karadima's posh Santiago community when they were teens, said that Barros witnessed and ignored their abuse. He has denied their accusations, but twice offered to resign.
Francis twice rejected his resignation, after apparently being counseled that Barros was innocent. Francis hasn't said who counseled him.