Pope Francis Asks Chilean Bishops for Forgiveness for Serious Mistakes in Assessing Child Abuse Situation

In a letter to Chilean Bishops following a review of Archbishop Sciciuna’s report, Pope Francis admitted making “serious mistakes” in his handling of the clergy sexual abuse cases in Chile.  The Pontiff stated that he feels “pain and shame” for the “crucified lives” of those who suffered abuse and continued: “I apologize to all those I have offended.”

Archbishop Charles Sciciuna went to Chile in February as a Vatican envoy, to conduct an investigation into Bishop Juan Barros’ handling of sexual abuse allegations against Fr. Fernando Karadima during the period from 1980-1990.  Charges have been leveled against Bishop Barros for covering up the allegations against Karadima, who was his mentor while he was a seminarian.

Francis’ communique failed to mention Barros’ fate/future in the church.  He appointed Barros Bishop of Osorno in 2015, and lay people in the diocese are calling for his removal.  Pope Francis has invited Chile’s Bishops to Rome for a meeting in the very near future to discern “what measures need to be taken in the short, medium and long term so as to re-establish ecclesial communion in Chile, with the aim of repairing so far as possible for the scandal, and re-establishing justice.”

To review the complete text of Pope Francis’ letter published in Zenit, please click here.

Please click here to review an article in America regarding the Pope’s letter.