Protest action in Chile: Three figures in bishop's garb hang on a bridge © Francisco Castillo
With a drastic protest action against the abuse scandal in Chile's church, the right-wing group "Movimiento Social Patriota" has caused a stir. Three dolls in caridnal garb were "hanged" on a bridge.
As local media reported on Monday (local time), the activists hung three life-size dolls dressed as cardinals on a bridge in the municipality of Providencia, in the greater Santiago metropolitan area. About it on a banner was read: "Abuse priests to the gallows for traitors". Photos and videos of the action went viral on social media and sparked controversial debates.
Abuse victim Cruz: Don't get caught in "spiral of violence"
Chile's church is rocked by an abuse scandal that has made headlines for months. The focus is on the now 87-year-old charismatic priest Fernando Karadima, who was convicted of sexual offenses in 2011. Several bishops emerged from his circle, including Juan Barros of Osorno, who is accused of complicity by Karadima's victims.
One of Chile's most prominent abuse victims, Juan Carlos Cruz, condemned the protest action in Providencia as "barbaric". Abuses must be talked about and criminals brought to justice, but under no circumstances should they be allowed to spiral into a "spiral of violence," Cruz wrote on Twitter.