Pope accepts resignations of three Chilean bishops in wake of scandal

Friday, Jun. 15, 2018
By Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — After an in-depth Vatican-led investigation into clerical sexual abuse and cover-ups, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of 61-year-old Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, Chile, and two other Chilean bishops June 11. The two other bishops, who had reached the customary retirement age of 75, were Archbishop Cristian Caro Cordero of Puerto Montt and Bishop Gonzalo Duarte Garcia de Cortazar of Valparaiso.

The pope named apostolic administrators to run each diocese in the meantime: Mercedarian Father Ricardo Basilio Morales Galindo, Chilean provincial, for the Archdiocese of Puerto Montt; Auxiliary Bishop Pedro Ossandon Buljevic of Santiago for the Diocese of Valparaiso; and Auxiliary Bishop Jorge Concha Cayuqueo of Santiago for the Diocese of Osorno.

The announcement came as Pope Francis was sending his Vatican team back to Chile to promote healing from the abuse crisis.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta and Father Jordi Bertomeu Farnos were set to visit the Diocese of Osorno “with the aim of advancing the process of reparation and healing of abuse victims,” the Vatican said.

Abuse survivors have alleged that when Bishop Barros was still a priest he witnessed their abuse by his mentor, Father Fernando Karadima. In 2011, Fr. Karadima was sentenced to a life of prayer and penance by the Vatican after he was found guilty of sexually abusing boys.

Archbishop Scicluna, who is president of a board of review handling abuse cases within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Fr. Bertomeu, an official of the doctrinal congregation, were scheduled to be in Santiago June 12-13 before going to Osorno June 14-17.

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