After abuse cases became known in South American Chile, lay people in the country are now demanding the resignation of the archbishop of the capital diocese of Santiago.
In Chile, the lay organization in the Osorno diocese has called for the resignation of Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati (76) as archbishop of the capital diocese of Santiago. Such a controversial archbishop who has lost so much authority cannot continue to head a diocese with more than six million faithful, the daily La Tercera quoted Juan Carlos Claret, spokesman for the lay organization, as saying Monday. Claret added that Ezzati's resignation is now a priority.
Suspension after self-incrimination
Last week, the ex-chancellor of the Archdiocese of Santiago, Oscar Munoz Toledo (56), was arrested. As Chilean media report, he is accused of sexual abuse in several cases. The victims are said to be between 11 and 17 years old.
Munoz had been suspended from the archdiocese in early 2018 after he recused himself two weeks before Pope Francis' visit to Chile.
Santiago's archbishop signals willingness to shed light on matter
Santiago's Archbishop Ezzati said in a statement that justice now has the final say. He expressed solidarity with the victims and felt great pain for Munoz, his family and the victims, the cardinal said. He said the archdiocese wants to cooperate with the judiciary.
Laymen for the deposition of the bishop
Chile's church is rocked by an abuse scandal that has made headlines for months. In the spotlight is the now 87-year-old charismatic priest Fernando Karadima, who was convicted in 2011 of sexual offenses. Several bishops emerged from his circle, including Juan Barros of Osorno, who is accused by victims of Karadima of complicity. Osorno lay organization fought for several years to have bishop deposed.
Pope Francis seeking clarification
Pope Francis had specifically asked the entire Chilean bishops' conference to come to the Vatican to clarify the allegations.
Meanwhile, Francis accepted four other bishops' resignations in addition to Barros's.