Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Pope accepts resignation of three bishops over Chile sexual abuse scandal

Pope accepts resignation of three bishops over Chile sexual abuse scandal

Pope Francis has accepted the resignations of three Chilean bishops following sex abuse scandals, including Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, the city at the center of the uproar, the Vatican said on Monday.

Barros was accused by the victims of having witnessed the abuse but did nothing to stop it. Barros has however denied the allegations.

It was the Pope's 2015 decision to name Bishop Barros to lead the small, southern Diocese of Osorno that sparked the abuse controversy in the country.

As BBC notes, it remains unclear whether the resignation of the remaining 31 bishops will be accepted, but, in any case, it seems that Pope Francis has succumbed to the pressure, in spite of the fact that he had initially defended Bishop Juan Barros during his visit to Chile in January this year.

The pope accepted Barros' resignation despite his earlier attempts to defend him.

"A new day has begun in Chile's Catholic Church!" tweeted Juan Carlos Cruz, the abuse survivor who had denounced Barros for years and pressed the Vatican to take action.

"I'm thrilled for all those who have fought to see this day".

Last week it was announced they were being sent back to Chile in order to advance the process of "the process of reparation and healing of victims of abuse" in the Diocese of Osorno. "The band of delinquent bishops. begins to disintegrate today".

In April, Francis publicly acknowledged that he had erred in handling the situation, saying he had made "serious mistakes" - and summoning Chile's 's bishops to an emergency meeting in Rome.

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In 2013, Vice released a special report detailing the PR machinery which, so it seems, has managed to turn Pope Francis into a popular, widely-appreciated individual in spite of sexual abuse scandals.

The Pope's move comes after he received two groups of victims of Fernando Karadima at the Vatican.

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

Three Chilean Bishops have presented their resignations letters to Pope Francis over allegation of sexual misconduct.

It also exposed evidence that the Chilean hierarchy systematically covered up and minimized abuse cases, destroying evidence of sex crimes, pressuring church investigators to discredit abuse accusations and showing "grave negligence" in protecting children from pedophile priests.

Pope Francis last month promised to Chilean Catholics scarred by a culture of clergy sexual abuse that "never again" would the church ignore them or the cover-up of abuse in their country.

The biggest new scandal involved revelations of a gay priest sex ring in the Rancagua diocese of the bishop who headed the Chilean church's sex abuse prevention commission.

"Bishop Barros has ceased being bishop but he hasn't stopped being a brother in the faith, and for this if he too wants to seek forgiveness he is called to take part and assume his responsibilities", Claret said.

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