Pope Francis Meets with Chilean Sex Abuse Survivors

Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton, and Andrea Murillo, three Chilean sex abuse survivors, met with Pope Francis over the weekend of April 28-May 1, prior to his Chilean Bishops’ summit scheduled for mid-May in Rome. The three issued a statement on May 2 after their Papal meeting and commented:  “Pope Francis formally asked us for forgiveness, in his own name and on behalf of the universal Church.”  In their discussions, Francis also told one of the survivors “I was part of the problem.  I caused this, and I apologize to you.”

Following their Papal meeting, the three survivors were interviewed by reports and described Pope Francis during their conversation as “attentive, receptive and very empathetic.”  With reference to the Pontiff’s request to continue to send him suggestions on how to fight clerical sexual abuse, the group commented: “it’s not up to us to carry out the necessary transformation in the Church to stop the epidemic of sexual abuse and cover-up.”  All three unilaterally agree that Cardinals Francisco Javier Errazuriz and Ricardo Ezzati should stand trial because “we consider them guilty of covering up.” Although the Statute of Limitations has run on prosecuting either Cardinal, Errazuriz remains on the council of nine cardinals advising the Pope on reform of the Roman Curia.

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