Implosion of the Catholic Church
... every bishop in Chile resigned over sex scandal
Last month, at the end of an emergency summit in Rome with the Pope, 34 Chilean bishops offered their resignation in the wake of revelations of sexual abuse of young boys and their complicity in covering up the crimes. These 34 represent every bishop in Chile, 31 active and 3 retired.
Damage control at its finest. But is it too late?
The timeline of this particular story, now part of a voluminous list of crimes of complicity within the Roman Catholic Church, runs as follows:
2011: Charismatic Chilean priest Rev. Fernando Karadima is removed from ministry and sentenced by the Vatican to a lifetime of penance and prayer based on the testimony of his victims, who said they were all molested by him in the swank parish he headed in the El Bosque area of Santiago.
A Chilean judge also found the victims to be credible, saying that while she had to drop criminal charges against Karadima because too much time had passed, proof of his crimes wasn’t lacking.
2015: The Pope appoints Juan Barros as bishop presiding over Osorno, a region of Chile, despite victims’ testimony before Chilean prosecutors that Barros, one of Karadima’s proteges, witnessed the abuse and did nothing to stop it.
The appointment outraged Chileans and badly divided the Osorno diocese, where hundreds of lay Catholics and many priests have refused to accept Barros.
Jan. 18, 2018: During a visit to Chile and Peru from Jan. 15-21, the Pope was asked about the Barros appointment and responded, “The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, I’ll speak. There is not one shred of proof against him. It’s all calumny. Is that clear?”
Jan. 21, 2018: During an airborne press conference on the way home from the trip, Pope Francis apologized for insisting that victims of pedophile priests show “proof” to be believed, saying he realized it was a “slap in the face” to victims that he never intended.
But he doubled down on defending Barros, and he repeated that anyone who makes such accusations without providing evidence is guilty of slander.
February 1, 2018: The Pope sends the Catholic Church’s top abuse prosecutor, Archbishop Charles Scicluna and his aide, Monsignor Jordi Bertomeu, to Chile to investigate the matter.
They interview 64 people which forms the basis for a 2,300 page Vatican report exploring matters of child sexual abuse and the cover-up of such crimes by Church officials in Chile.
April 11, 2018: The Pope invites all Chilean bishops to Rome for a crisis meeting to discuss the findings of the report.
May 18, 2018: In the wake of revelations from the meeting, all 34 Chilean bishops offer their resignation. Footnotes the pope took from the report indicate that the pope accused the bishops of destroying evidence of sex crimes, pressuring investigators to minimize abuse accusations and showing ‘grave negligence’ in protecting children from pedophile priests.
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