Pope wants bishops to take responsibility for abuse scandal

Friday, May. 18, 2018
By Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The bishops of Chile will be at the Vatican May 14-17 for meetings with Pope Francis to discuss their handling of clerical sex abuse allegations and, as Pope Francis had said, “to repair the scandal as much as possible and re-establish justice.”

The pope also invited retired bishops. However, the Chilean media have reported that Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, retired archbishop of Santiago and a member of Pope Francis’ international Council of Cardinals, will not attend.

The three Chilean abuse survivors who met Pope Francis at the Vatican accused the cardinal of covering up the abuse committed by Father Fernando Karadima, who in 2011 was found guilty by a Vatican tribunal and sentenced to a life of prayer and penance.

The survivors also claimed the cardinal was an active participant in campaigns to cast doubts on their honesty and their motives in coming forward.

A statement published by the Chilean bishops’ conference confirmed the dates of the Vatican meeting. “We reiterate our unity with Pope Francis in the pain and shame he expressed about the crimes committed against minors and adults in church settings.”

The objective of the meeting is “to discern together, in the presence of God, the responsibility of all and each one in these devastating injuries, as well as to study appropriate and lasting changes that would prevent the repetition of these always reprehensible acts,” the statement said.

The goal is “to re-establish trust in the Church through good shepherds who witness with their lives that they have heard the voice of the Good Shepherd and know how to accompany the suffering of the victims and work in a determined and untiring way in the prevention of abuse,” the statement said.

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