Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Pope Francis accepts resignation of three Chilean bishops

World Meeting of Families to feature Father James Martin as keynoter Pope Francis accepts resignation of three Chilean bishops
Patty Aguilar | 13 June, 2018, 16:41

Barros, who has always denied allegations he witnessed and covered up sexual abuse cases, asked for forgiveness for his "limitations" in handling the scandal in a statement.

Barros submitted his resignation to Pope Francis alongside every other active bishop in Chile at the close of a May 15-17 meeting between the pope and Chilean prelates, during which Francis chastised the bishops for systematic cover-up of abuse throughout the country.

Church administrators were appointed to run all three diocese.

Pope Francis will join the rally for the final two days, August 25-26, presiding over the final Mass in Dublin.

Despite a strong Catholic tradition, Chile is witnessing a growing rift between the people and the Church, sharpened by the string of sexual abuse scandals.

Karadima's victims have long accused Barros of knowing about the abuse but saying and doing nothing about it. Barros has repeatedly denied playing any role. Of the three, only 61-year-old Barros is below the retirement age of 75.

Pope Francis has, according to BBC, apologized to victims after more than 1,000 Chileans wrote to him, asking him to reconsider the installation of Juan Barros as bishop of the Chilean city of Osorno.

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The leader of the Roman Catholic Church accepted the resignation of Bishop Juan Barros as well as those of two others in Chile, Archbishop Cristián Caro Cordero of Puerto Montt and Bishop Gonzalo Duarte García de Cortázar of Valparaíso, the church announced on Monday.

The pontiff has promised Catholics in Chile that the church would "never again" ignore them or participate in covering up cases of abuse in their country.

The letter - handed to the bishops at the start of their meetings with Francis - evokes "crimes" and "painful and shameful sexual abuse of minors, abuses of power and conscience by ministers of the Church".

He also made a decision to host three Chilean sex abuse survivors at his home in the Vatican so he could apologise to them personally and hear their recommendations for change.

Juan Carlos Claret, spokesman for a group of Osorno lay Catholics who fiercely opposed Barros, said Francis' acceptance of the resignation signaled "the end of the damage" that the pope himself had inflicted on the diocese by appointing Barros in the first place.

Francis angered anti-abuse activists and others in Chile when, during a trip to the South American nation in January, he told an interviewer that the accusations against Barros lacked evidence and amounted to "calumnies".

Since 2000, about 80 Catholic priests have been reported to authorities in Chile for alleged sexual abuse. Francis said he had misjudged Juan Barros and the events in Chile because he hadn't been given "truthful and balanced information".

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