Pope confesses ‘error’ in Chile sex abuse scandal
by Kiley Crossland
Posted 4/11/18, 04:09 pm
Pope Francis on Wednesday admitted he made “grave errors” in judgment regarding a massive sex abuse scandal in Chile. In a letter written to Chile’s bishops, Francis said he was wrong to strongly defend Bishop Juan Barros—a protégé of notorious predator priest the Rev. Fernando Karadima—during a January visit to Chile. Karadima’s victims have long denounced Barros, claiming he witnessed the abuse and did nothing. “The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, I’ll speak,” Francis said in January. “There is not one shred of proof against him. It’s all calumny.” In response to outcries, Francis sent the Vatican’s most respected sex abuse investigator, Archbishop Charles Scicluna, to Chile and New York for a two-week visit earlier this year to hear testimony from victims. Francis said he felt “pain and shame” reading the 2,300-page dossier prepared by Scicluna and his envoy after the investigation. In the letter published Wednesday, Francis called Chile’s bishops to the Vatican for an emergency meeting to discuss the scandal.
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Kiley is a WORLD Digital assistant editor and reports on marriage, family, and sexuality.