Pope Francis already knew of Chilean priest's abuses three years ago

Pope Francis has said that no one ever told him that the now-former Chilean priest Fernando Karadima was sexually abusing parishioners and defended local bishop Juan Barros.
By Rick Docksai | Feb 07, 2018
Pope Francis received a letter three years ago notifying him that a Chilean priest was sexually abusing young people and that local church authorities were covering up for his crimes, an abuse survivor and several members of the pope's own sex-abuse commission told the Associated Press on Sunday. This is despite the pope insisting that no one had ever reported the abuses.

The pope has faced fresh criticism over sexual abuse by priests since last month, when crowds of protesters confronted him during his visit to South America for his defense of Bishop Juan Barros, a Chilean bishop who is under accusations of witnessing and ignoring sexual abuses by local priest Rev. Fernando Karadima. Francis dismissed the accusations against Barros as "slander" during the trip.

However, several victims of Karadima said that Barros was present when the now-defrocked priest had molested them. One victim, Juan Carlos Cruz, wrote a letter detailing Karadima's abuses and alleging that Barros and others saw it but did not intervene.

Members of the pope's Commission for the Protection of Minors said that they sent a delegation to Rome in April 2015 to hand-deliver Cruz's letter to Francis. Four commission members met with Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the pope's top abuse adviser, and expressed concerns about Barros at the time of the letter delivery.

"When we gave him (O'Malley) the letter for the pope, he assured us he would give it to the pope and speak of the concerns," then-commission member Marie Collins told the AP. "And at a later date, he assured us that that had been done."

Cruz said Sunday that O'Malley personally called him afterward and told him that he had given the pope the letter himself.


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