Pope apologizes ‘serious mistakes’ in evaluating Chilean abuse cases

Express News

By Catholic News Service|Updated: April 15, 2018

VATICAN CITY (CNS)— In a letter to the bishops of Chile, Pope Francis apologized ignoring the severity of the sexual assault crisis in the nation following a current investigation into alligations concerning Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno.

The pope stated he made “severe errors in the evaluation and understanding of the circumstance, particularly due to an absence of well balanced and genuine info.”

” I ask forgiveness of all those I have actually angered and I want to have the ability to do it personally in the coming weeks,” the pope stated in the letter, which was launched by the Vatican April 11. Several survivors obviously have actually been welcomed to the Vatican to fulfill the pope.

Abuse victims declared that Bishop Barros– then a priest– had actually seen their abuse by his coach, Father Fernando Karadima. In 2011, Father Karadima was sentenced to a life of prayer and penance by the Vatican after he was condemned of sexually abusing kids. Since the statute of constraints had actually run out, Father Karadima rejected the charges; he was not prosecuted civilly.

Victims and protesters stated Bishop Barros is guilty of safeguarding Father Karadima and was physically present while a few of the abuse was going on.

Throughout his check out to Chile in January, Pope Francis asked forgiveness for the sexual assaults dedicated by some priests in Chile.

” I feel bound to reveal my discomfort and embarassment at the permanent damage triggered to children by a few of the ministers of the church,” he stated.

Speaking to press reporters, he promised his assistance for Bishop Barros and stated: “The day they bring me evidence versus Bishop Barros, I will speak. There is not one piece of proof versus him. It is a calumny.”

He later on asked forgiveness to the victims and confessed that his option of words injured numerous.

A short time later on, the Vatican revealed Pope Francis was sending out a relied on private investigator to Chile to pay attention to individuals with info about Bishop Barros.

The detective, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, is president of a board of evaluation within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; the board manages appeals submitted by clergy implicated of abuse or other major criminal offenses. The archbishop likewise had 10 years of experience as the Vatican’s primary district attorney of clerical sex abuse cases at the doctrinal churchgoers.

Pope Francis stated Archbishop Scicluna and his assistant, Father Jordi Bertomeu Farnos, heard the statement of 64 individuals and provided him with more than 2,300 pages of paperwork. Not all the witnesses discussed Father Karadima and Bishop Barros; several of them provided testament about abuse declared to have actually happened at a Marist Brothers’ school.

After a “cautious reading” of the testaments, the pope stated, “I think I can verify that the statements gathered speak in a harsh method, without sweeteners or ingredients, of lots of crucified lives and, I admit, it has actually triggered me discomfort and pity.”

The pope stated he was assembling a conference in Rome with the 34 Chilean bishops to go over the findings of the examinations and his own conclusions “without prejudices nor preconceived ideas, with the single goal of making the fact shine in our lives.”

Pope Francis stated he wished to consult with the bishops to recognize long-lasting and instant actions to “re-establish ecclesial communion in Chile in order to fix the scandal as much as possible and re-establish justice.”

Archbishop Scicluna and Father Bertomeu, the pope stated, had actually been overwhelmed by the “compassion, regard and maturity” of the victims who affirmed.

” As pastors,” the pope informed the bishops, “we need to reveal the very same sensation and cordial thankfulness to those who, with sincerity (and) guts” asked for to meet the envoys and “revealed them the injuries of their soul.”

Following the release of Pope Francis’ letter, Bishop Santiago Silva Retamales, president of the bishops’ conference and head of the military ordinariate, stated the bishops of Chile would take a trip to the Vatican in the 3rd week of May.

The bishops, he stated, shared in the pope’s discomfort.

” We have actually refrained from doing enough,” he stated in a declaration. “Our dedication is that this does not occur once again.”