Investigations in Chile © O Globo
In the course of the abuse processing in the Catholic Church of Chile against the investigations further. Now the local prosecutor's office has searched the archives of four bishoprics and started investigations against two more bishops.
Police searches of bishoprics took place simultaneously in the cities of Valparaiso, Osorno, Concepcion and Chillan, according to local media reports. Earlier this week, email correspondence of high-ranking church officials had already been seized. Among those affected were Cardinals Ricardo Ezzati and Francisco Javier Errazuriz.
Investigations against two more bishops
In addition, prosecutors in Chile have opened investigations into two other bishops in the wake of the abuse scandal. Bishop Cristian Contreras Molina of San Felipe is suspected of being responsible for abuse cases, Luis Infanti de la Mora of Aysen is accused of covering up abuse cases, the daily "La Tercera" (Thursday online edition) reported.
In total, the investigation has thus been extended to seven bishops since August, according to the newspaper "La Nacion". In a first reaction, the diocese of San Felipe said that the bishop had no information about any accusation against him.
Abuse scandal makes headlines for months
The abuse scandal in Chile has been making headlines for months. The focus is on Fernando Karadima, a priest, now 88, who was convicted of sexual offenses in 2011. Several bishops emerged from his circle, among them Juan Barros of Osorno, who is accused by victims of Karadima of complicity.
Pope Francis had sent a special envoy to Chile to clarify the allegations and asked the entire Chilean Bishops' Conference to come to the Vatican.
In the meantime, Francis accepted four other bishops' resignations in addition to Barros's. Recently, the two Chilean cardinals Ricardo Ezzati and Francisco Errazuriz also became the focus of criticism. They are accused of having covered up cases of abuse in the archdiocese of Santiago. Both reject the accusations.