Suspicion of abuse cover-up

Suspicion of abuse cover-up

Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati Andrello © Romano Siciliani (CBA)

Abuse investigation in Chile moves forward: Now Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, archbishop of Chile's capital diocese of Santiago, is to be questioned on suspicion of abuse cover-up.

A corresponding summons ied by the public prosecutor's office in Rancagua for the 21. August was received on Tuesday (local time), the archdiocese announced. Ezzati, former president of the Chilean Bishops' Conference, asserted in a statement that he had not concealed anything from the judiciary and had at no time obstructed investigations.

Investigations against abuse network

In Rancagua, just a few kilometers from the capital, an investigation is underway into an alleged abuse network involving 14 priests. The bishop of Rancagua, Alejandro Goic Karmelic (78), who has since resigned, recently accused Ezzati of having done too little in dealing with abuse cases in Chile's Catholic Church.

In mid-July, the ex-chancellor of the Archdiocese of Santiago, Oscar Munoz Toledo (56), was arrested. According to media reports, he is accused of sexual abuse in several cases.

Chile's church is rocked by an abuse scandal that has made headlines for months. The focus is on priest Fernando Karadima, now 87, who was convicted of sexual offenses in 2011. The Chilean judiciary announced Monday that it is currently investigating 158 bishops, priests and lay people in 144 suspected abuse cases.

Extraordinary plenary meeting of Chile's bishops

Some of the alleged acts would date back several decades. Chile's bishops to discuss current developments at extraordinary plenary meeting next week.

Meanwhile, several women religious in Chile accuse the church of having been victims of exploitation or sexual abuse and of having been dismissed from their communities after charges were filed. According to local media reports (Wednesday), 23 women reportedly came forward with relevant allegations.

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