Clearing up abuse cases

Clearing up abuse cases

The special investigator Archbishop Charles Scicluna, who has been papally commissioned to investigate abuse cases, arrived in Chile on Monday. Scicluna to investigate cover-up allegations against Bishop Barros.

As the daily newspaper "La Tercera" reports, Archbishop Charles Scicluna is to hold a total of 20 talks with abuse victims and victims' representatives up to and including Friday. The talks will take place at the Papal Nunciature in Santiago.

Abuse victim: "Feeling that I was listened to"

Scicluna had already met on Saturday in New York with Chilean abuse victim Juan Cruz, who drew a positive conclusion from the conversation. "It was the first time I felt I was being listened to," Cruz said after the meeting. With a letter that was already three years old, Cruz had put the Vatican in need of explanation.

In the letter, which is now known worldwide, Cruz severely incriminated the current bishop Juan Barros. In the 1980s, Scicluna was a priest who witnessed several cases of sexual abuse of boys by his brother Fernando Karadima, who has since been sentenced by the Vatican, without taking any action. The letter was explosive because it is said to have reached the Vatican three weeks before Barros' inauguration.

Inauguration of Bishop Barros accompanied by protests

Pope Francis had said during his visit to Chile in January this year that there was no evidence that Barros, who he appointed bishop of Osorno in 2015, had covered up sexual abuse. Barros' inauguration was accompanied at the time by violent protests by hundreds of demonstrators protesting his appointment as bishop.

Protests against Barros also overshadowed the pope's visit to Chile in January. Francis later apologized for his choice of words and appointed Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna as a special investigator to look into the case.

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