Pope Acknowledges 'Tomb Glitches' at Chile abuse case
Apr 12 2018
After causing an outcry, Francis sent the Vatican's most respected sex abuse investigator, Archbishop Charles Scicluna, to get to the bottom of the scandal.
"When the media shame us by presenting a Church nearly always in a new moon, deprived of the light of the Sun of justice and we are tempted to doubt the Easter victory of the Risen One, I believe that like St. Thomas we should not fear doubt, but fear the pretense of wanting to see without trusting the testimony of those who heard from the lips of the Lord the most handsome promise", Francis wrote in the letter.
The Vatican orders up such emergency visits only on rare occasions, such as when American bishops were summoned in 2002 after the clerical sex abuse scandal exploded in the US and in 2010 when Irish bishops received a comprehensive Vatican dressing down for their botched handling of abuse cases.
Opponents of Bishop Barros have been vocal since his 2015 appointment to lead the Diocese of Osorno, with many, including a number of Karadima's victims, accusing the bishop of covering up the abuse, and also also at times participating.
Pope Francis has confessed he made "grave errors" at ruling in Chile'ssex abuse scandal and invited the abuse sufferers he'd chased to Rome to emphasise their validity.
Francis said that he was convinced of Barros' innocence and demanded "proof" of abuse before he would speak out against him.
Karadima's victims have also accused three other Chilean bishops in addition to Bishop Barros who had been close to Karadima - Auxiliary Bishop Andrés Arteaga of Santiago, Bishop Tomislav Koljatic of Linares and Horacio Valenzuela of Talca - of cover-up. Barros denies having any knowledge of the abuse. Then the Pope dispatched Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, the Vatican's top sexual crimes investigator, to Chile and NY to interview victims.
Francis said in a letter to Chilean Bishops released by the Vatican that he intends to summon them to Rome to discuss the investigation, which involves Bishop Juan Barros' alleged cover-ups of abuse by priests in his diocese.
The comment prompted uproar from the bishop's critics, several of whom are victims of Karadima's abuse.
Francis said the meeting, which comes just a year after the Chilean bishops were last in Rome on a regular visit, would have as its objective "repairing scandal where possible and re-establishing justice".
Protesters and victims said Bishop Barros is guilty of protecting Father Karadima and was physically present while some of the abuse was going on.
"If Francis was misinformed or inadequately informed, it was because he chose to be so", she said.
Before going to Santiago Feb. 19 to interview witnesses related to the Bishop Barros accusations, Archbishop Scicluna stopped in NY to interview Cruz. Critics accused the pope of not understanding the depth of the crisis after he initially defended Barros and said he was the victim of slander.
In August 2017, the Marist Brothers reported that a member of the congregation had admitted to abusing 14 boys in Chile.
"I recognize and I want you to communicate this accurately, that I have made serious errors of judgement and perception of the situation, especially due to lack of truthful and balanced information", Francis wrote in a letter to the Chilean bishops. In a statement posted to Twitter, Cruz said they are evaluating whether they can attend. "Let us love in the truth, let us ask for wisdom of heart and allow ourselves to be converted".