World: Pope Accuses Sex Abuse Victims in Chile of Slandering Bishop

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World: Pope Accuses Sex Abuse Victims in Chile of Slandering Bishop

Pope Francis begs for forgiveness over sexual abuse in Chile

Pope Francis has accused abuse victims in Chile of slandering a bishop who they say protected a pedophile priest, upending his efforts to rehabilitate the Catholic Church’s reputation while visiting South America.

Francis told reporters Thursday there was not a shred of evidence against Bishop Juan Barros Madrid, whom victims of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, Chile’s most notorious priest, have accused of being complicit in his crimes.

“The day someone brings me proof against Bishop Barros, then I will talk,” Francis said before celebrating Mass outside the northern Chilean city of Iquique. “But there is not one single piece of evidence. It is all slander. Is that clear?”

The pope’s comments set off a storm in Chile, raising questions about his commitment to repairing the damage from sexual abuse scandals and improving the church’s image in the traditionally devout country.

“Pope Francis’s attack on the Karadima victims is a stunning setback,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, a co-director of BishopAccountability.org, a group that monitors abuse cases. “He has just turned back the clock to the darkest days of this crisis. Who knows how many victims now will decide to stay hidden, for fear they will not be believed?”

Karadima was convicted by the Vatican in 2011 of abusing teenage boys beginning in the 1980s, and he was ordered to lead a “life of prayer and penitence.” That year, a judge found the allegations “truthful and reliable” but dismissed a criminal case because the statute of limitations had expired.

Barros, a former military chaplain, was part of Karadima’s inner circle and, according to one of the victims, witnessed the priest’s advances on him.

“As if I could have taken a selfie or picture while Karadima abused me or others and Juan Barros stood there watching it all,” one of Karadima’s victims, Juan Carlos Cruz, wrote on Twitter.

Despite the allegations against Barros, Francis appointed him bishop of Osorno, in southern Chile, in 2015. Dozens of priests and legislators said they opposed the move.

The pope told a group of tourists visiting Vatican City in 2015 that people in Orsono who protested the appointment were “dumb.”

“The Osorno community is suffering because it’s dumb,” he said, according to video recorded by one of the tourists. The city had “let its head be filled with what politicians say, judging a bishop without any proof.”

This week, lay and religious groups from Osorno and Santiago, the capital, protested throughout the pope’s visit and called for action against the bishop.

But Barros has continued to enjoy the support of the Vatican, and there was no public indication that Francis was reconsidering his position. Barros participated in the pope’s ceremonies in Santiago, Iquique and the southern city of Temuco. In Iquique, Barros told reporters that Francis had offered him “words of support and affection.”

The Associated Press reported this week that Francis had acknowledged the furor over Karadima’s legacy in a 2015 letter to the Chilean bishop’s conference. The letter said the pope proposed that Barros and two other bishops go on sabbatical before taking up any new positions, a plan that ultimately fell apart.

Francis began his visit to Chile on Tuesday morning by publicly apologizing for the sexual abuse involving the clergy, saying he felt “pained and ashamed” over the “irreparable damage” done to their victims. But he refused to meet with Karadima’s victims.

“What the pope has done today is offensive and painful, and not only against us, but against everyone seeking to end the abuses,” James Hamilton, one of the victims, said during a news conference Thursday.

The archbishop of Santiago, Francisco Javier Errázuriz, who has been harshly criticized by Karadima’s victims for failing to protect them or investigate their accusations at the time, said the controversy over Barros was an “invention.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.


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World: Pope Accuses Sex Abuse Victims in Chile of Slandering Bishop

Pope Francis begs for forgiveness over sexual abuse in Chile

Pope Francis has accused abuse victims in Chile of slandering a bishop who they say protected a pedophile priest, upending his efforts to rehabilitate the Catholic Church’s reputation while visiting South America.

Francis told reporters Thursday there was not a shred of evidence against Bishop Juan Barros Madrid, whom victims of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, Chile’s most notorious priest, have accused of being complicit in his crimes.

“The day someone brings me proof against Bishop Barros, then I will talk,” Francis said before celebrating Mass outside the northern Chilean city of Iquique. “But there is not one single piece of evidence. It is all slander. Is that clear?”

The pope’s comments set off a storm in Chile, raising questions about his commitment to repairing the damage from sexual abuse scandals and improving the church’s image in the traditionally devout country.

“Pope Francis’s attack on the Karadima victims is a stunning setback,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, a co-director of BishopAccountability.org, a group that monitors abuse cases. “He has just turned back the clock to the darkest days of this crisis. Who knows how many victims now will decide to stay hidden, for fear they will not be believed?”

Karadima was convicted by the Vatican in 2011 of abusing teenage boys beginning in the 1980s, and he was ordered to lead a “life of prayer and penitence.” That year, a judge found the allegations “truthful and reliable” but dismissed a criminal case because the statute of limitations had expired.

Barros, a former military chaplain, was part of Karadima’s inner circle and, according to one of the victims, witnessed the priest’s advances on him.

“As if I could have taken a selfie or picture while Karadima abused me or others and Juan Barros stood there watching it all,” one of Karadima’s victims, Juan Carlos Cruz, wrote on Twitter.

Despite the allegations against Barros, Francis appointed him bishop of Osorno, in southern Chile, in 2015. Dozens of priests and legislators said they opposed the move.

The pope told a group of tourists visiting Vatican City in 2015 that people in Orsono who protested the appointment were “dumb.”

“The Osorno community is suffering because it’s dumb,” he said, according to video recorded by one of the tourists. The city had “let its head be filled with what politicians say, judging a bishop without any proof.”

This week, lay and religious groups from Osorno and Santiago, the capital, protested throughout the pope’s visit and called for action against the bishop.

But Barros has continued to enjoy the support of the Vatican, and there was no public indication that Francis was reconsidering his position. Barros participated in the pope’s ceremonies in Santiago, Iquique and the southern city of Temuco. In Iquique, Barros told reporters that Francis had offered him “words of support and affection.”

The Associated Press reported this week that Francis had acknowledged the furor over Karadima’s legacy in a 2015 letter to the Chilean bishop’s conference. The letter said the pope proposed that Barros and two other bishops go on sabbatical before taking up any new positions, a plan that ultimately fell apart.

Francis began his visit to Chile on Tuesday morning by publicly apologizing for the sexual abuse involving the clergy, saying he felt “pained and ashamed” over the “irreparable damage” done to their victims. But he refused to meet with Karadima’s victims.

“What the pope has done today is offensive and painful, and not only against us, but against everyone seeking to end the abuses,” James Hamilton, one of the victims, said during a news conference Thursday.

The archbishop of Santiago, Francisco Javier Errázuriz, who has been harshly criticized by Karadima’s victims for failing to protect them or investigate their accusations at the time, said the controversy over Barros was an “invention.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.


Related Posts:







Want More Latest Music ? Click Here

9jakoloNG

Burna Boy – ‘Gbona’

9jakoloNG

Video: Wizkid – ‘Fever’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.