La Croix International
February 6, 2018
The pope had strongly stated when on a recent visit to Chile that no victims had come forward to denounce the cover-up
Cover image: Chilean Father Fernando Karadima leaves after attending a 2015 hearing at the Supreme Court building in Santiago. (CNS photo/Sebastian Silva, EPA)
(Note: It looks the media is not going to let Francis off the hook, too easily. La Croix (the Cross) is a well known French International daily which reports Catholic news around the world very responsibly. Even the Ernakulam Land deal controversy is reported in detail in it.
So contrary to the first statement that all allegations against Bishop Barros a confidant of the Pope are calculated calumny devoid of any evidence, now Francis is doing a rethink and sending: “in a stunning about-face, decided to send to Chile Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna of Malta — the Catholic Church’s top expert on investigating sex abuse — to review recently received information concerning the case of Bishop Barros.” So we have to wait and see its results.
This is an excellent example on how to deal with critics through prolonged discussion, the only way to reach consensus among followers of Jesus. Are all bishops, especially in India listening? james kottoor, editor ccv.
Read below reports from La Croix and Associated Press
Pope Francis in Chile staunchly defended Bishop Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid of Osorno against accusations that he tried to cover-up sexual abuse by the country’s most notorious priest offender Fernando Karadima.
Questioned by journalists on Jan. 18, Pope Francis said: “The day they bring me proof against the bishop, then I will speak. There is not a single proof against him. This is calumny! Is that clear?”
However, during the in-flight press conference on Jan. 21-22 while returning from South America to Rome, the pope apologized to the victims for saying they offered not “proof” when he should have said “evidence.” But he still maintained they had slandered Bishop Barros.
Some have continued to accuse Bishop Barros of having witnessed abuse when he was young and failed to report Karadima, the former priest of an upmarket Santiago parish who, having being denounced in 2004, was defrocked in 2011. The priest was since sentenced by the Vatican to a life of prayer and penance.
Now, The Associated Press maintains it has received the eight-page letter from Juan Carlos Cruz that detailed “the abuse, kissing and fondling he says he suffered at Karadima’s hands, which he said Barros and others witnessed and ignored.”
It reported former members of the pope’s Commission for the Protection of Minors saying that in April 2015 they sent a delegation to Rome specifically to hand-deliver a letter to the pope about Bishop Barros.
The report cited the then-commission member Marie Collins as saying that Pope Francis’ top abuse adviser Cardinal Sean O’Malley had been given the letter to give to the pope and of the cardinal assuring her that the letter had been delivered to Francis.
The report maintains that neither the Vatican nor Cardinal O’Malley responded to multiple requests for comment. Earlier, despite claims against Bishop Barros, Pope Francis named him to head the Diocese of Osorno in 2015, saying he was “personally convinced” of the bishop’s innocence after the case was investigated twice with no evidence emerging at the time.
However, soon after his recent visit to South America, Pope Francis, in a stunning about-face, decided to send to Chile Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna of Malta — the Catholic Church’s top expert on investigating sex abuse — to review “recently received information concerning the case" of Bishop Barros, the Vatican said in its Jan. 30 communique.
Vatican special prosecutor changes plans, will interview Chile sex abuse victim in person
February 07, 2018
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican's sex-crimes expert is changing plans and will fly to New York to take in-person testimony from a Chilean sex-abuse victim whose pleas to be heard by Pope Francis were previously ignored.
The switch from a planned Skype interview came after The Associated Press reported that Francis received a letter in 2015 from Juan Carlos Cruz, a victim of Chile's most notorious pedophile priest. Cruz told the pope that one of the priest's proteges, Bishop Juan Barros, was present for his abuse and did nothing. Barros denied any wrongdoing.