Pope accepts resignation of three bishops over Chile sexual abuse scandal

Reuters via The Guardian
June 11, 2018

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, who is accused of having witnessed sexual abuse but done nothing to stop it.
Photo by Vincenzo Pinto

Pontiff vows that victims of Father Fernando Karadimo would ‘never again’ be ignored

Pope Francis has accepted the resignations of three Chilean bishops, including Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, the city at the centre of a sexual abuse scandal.

In an unprecedented move, all Chile’s 34 bishops offered to resign last month after attending a crisis meeting with Francis over allegations that sexual abuse in the country’s Catholic church had been covered up.

It was not immediately clear if Monday’s development meant the pope would reject the resignations of the other 31 bishops.

Besides Barros, the pope also agreed to the departures of Cristián Caro Cordero, bishop of Puerto Montt, and Gonzalo Duarte García de Cortázar, bishop of Valparaiso.

Church administrators were appointed to run all three diocese.

Francis has promised Chilean Catholics affected by sexual abuse that “never again” would the church ignore them or the cover-up of abuse in their country.

The scandal revolves around Father Fernando Karadima, who was found guilty in a Vatican investigation in 2011 of abusing boys in Santiago in the 1970s and 1980s. Now 87 and living in a nursing home in Chile, he has always denied any wrongdoing.

Victims accused Barros of having witnessed the abuse but doing nothing to stop it. Barros has denied the allegations.

The Vatican’s most experienced sexual abuse investigator, Archbishop Charles Scicluna, visited Chile earlier this year to look into the scandal. He has been sent back to Chile to gather more information.


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