The Latest: Pope admits 'grave errors' in Chile abuse case - InfoNews

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The Latest: Pope admits 'grave errors' in Chile abuse case

April 11, 2018 - 11:30 AM

VATICAN CITY - The Latest on the Vatican's response to clergy sex abuse in Chile (all times local):

8:20 p.m.

Pope Francis has admitted he made "grave errors" in judgment in Chile's sex abuse scandal and invited the abuse victims he had discredited to Rome to beg their forgiveness.

In an extraordinary letter published Wednesday, Francis also summoned Chile's bishops to the Vatican for an emergency meeting in the coming weeks to discuss the scandal, which has badly tarnished his reputation and that of the Chilean church.

Francis blamed a lack of "true and balanced information" in his missteps in judging Bishop Juan Barros, a protege of Chile's most notorious predator priest. Francis strongly defended Barros, despite accusations by victims that the Chilean priest witnessed and ignored their abuse.

Francis sent the Vatican's most respected sex abuse investigator, Archbishop Charles Scicluna, to investigate the scandal. While the pope's letter doesn't reveal Scicluna's conclusions, Francis made clear the bishops needed to "repair the scandal where possible and re-establish justice."

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6:15 p.m.

Chile's Catholic Church is bracing for revelations from a letter from Pope Francis to the country's bishops following a scandal over his strong defence of a bishop accused of witnessing and ignoring sex abuse by Chile's most notorious predator priest.

Jaime Coiro, spokesman for the Chilean bishops' conference, said the pope wrote it after receiving a report by Archbishop Charles Scicluna, the Vatican's longtime sex abuse prosecutor.

Francis sent Scicluna to investigate allegations of sex abuse coverup by Bishop Juan Barros, a protege of the Rev. Fernando Karadima. The Vatican removed Karadima from ministry for sexually abusing minors.

Scicluna and his colleague, the Rev. Jordi Bertomeu, spent nearly two weeks in Chile and New York earlier this year interviewing Karadima's victims, who for years have denounced Barros' silence and were stunned by Francis' strong defence of him during his January visit to Chile.

Many of Chile's bishops, and members of Francis' own sex abuse advisory board, had questioned Barros' suitability to lead a diocese given claims by Karadima's victims that Barros stood by and did nothing while Karadima groped them.

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5:35 p.m.

Pope Francis has written a letter to Chile's bishops following a scandal over his strong defence of a bishop accused of witnessing and ignoring sex abuse by Chile's most notorious predator priest.

Jaime Coiro, spokesman for the Chilean bishops' conference, said the letter would be released later Wednesday. In a tweet, Coiro said the pope wrote it after receiving a report by Archbishop Charles Scicluna.

Francis sent Scicluna to investigate allegations of sex abuse coverup by Bishop Juan Barros, a protege of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, who was removed from ministry by the Vatican for sexually abusing minors.

Scicluna and his colleague, the Rev. Jordi Bertomeu, spent two weeks in Chile and New York interviewing Karadima's victims, who for years have denounced Barros' silence and were stunned by Francis' defence.

News from © The Associated Press, 2018
The Associated Press

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