Pope: 'Chilean Bishops Must Confess Sex Crimes Against Minors'
May 13, 2018
|"It is fundamental to re-establish trust in the Church," said the pope, reversing his previous dismissal of abuse allegations. |
"It is fundamental to re-establish trust in the Church," said the pope, reversing his previously dismissive attitude towards the abuse allegations.
Chile's bishops should take responsibility for their actions and make amends for the "devastating wounds" inflicted on the Catholic church, Pope Francis said Saturday, in response to the hundreds of sex abuse allegations faced by the clergy.
Ahead of next week's meeting with the Chilean diocese, the pontiff released a statement warning bishops of his plans to address the Catholic church's handling of sex crimes and their perpetrators.
There is a serious need to deeply examine the "mechanisms," consequences and causes that resulted in scandalous cover-ups and omissions of justice for victims, the pope wrote.
"It is fundamental to re-establish trust in the Church," said the pope, reversing his previously dismissive attitude towards the abuse allegations displayed during his visit to Chile earlier this year, and admitting he had made a "grave mistake."
The statement issued by the Vatican said the pope expected the bishops to be "docile and humble" at the meetings in order to determine "collective and individual responsibility for these devastating wounds" and implement long-lasting changes to avoid further abuses
Bishop Juan Barros, who has been investigated for his role in hiding pedophilia perpetrated by his mentor, Father Fernando Karadima, is expected to attend the Catholic convention scheduled from May 15 to 17.
Cardinal Javier Errazuriz, a retired Santiago archbishop and one of nine cardinals from around the world who make up a papal advisory panel on general affairs, will be absent for personal reasons, Chile's La Tercera newspaper quoted him as saying.
"Until yesterday (Friday) I thought I was not going, but at my age I can change my mind," he said.
Abuse survivors have accused Errazuriz of discrediting victims and failing to investigate their cases, but he has denied any wrongdoing.
Last month, Pope Francis held four days of meetings with Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo, who were abused by Karadima when they were teenagers in Santiago.
Karadima was found guilty in a Vatican investigation in 2011 of abusing boys in Santiago in the 1970s and 1980s, but he was never prosecuted in a criminal court because of the statute of limitations.
Now 87 and living in a nursing home in Chile, Karadima has always denied the allegations.