POPE TO MEET WITH SECOND GROUP OF CHILEAN ABUSE VICTIMS

POPE TO MEET WITH SECOND GROUP OF CHILEAN ABUSE VICTIMS

The Holy See Press Office issued a statement last night, May 22, that Pope Francis, from June 1 to 3 in the Vatican, will meet with a second group of Fr, Fernando Karadima’s victims of abuse – or that of his followers – from the parish of Sagrado Corazón de Providencia (“El Bosque”) in Chile.

By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp

Among the group are 5 priests who were victims of “abuse of power, of conscience and sexual abuse,” as well as 2 additional priests who “have assisted the victims throughout the juridical and spiritual process, and 2 lay people involved in this suffering.” The group will be provided hospitality in the Santa Marta residence where the Pope lives.

The communique reported that most of those coming also took part in the meetings that took place in Chile with Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Bishop Jordi Bertomeu in February. Others collaborated in the weeks after their visit.

This upcoming June meeting was scheduled a month ago because, said the statement, “Pope Francis wants to demonstrate his closeness to the abused priests, to accompany them in their pain and listen to their valuable opinion so as to improve preventive measures and the fight against abuse in the Church.” This will conclude the first phase of the meetings that Pope Francis wanted to have with the victims from Sagrado Corazón de Providencia parish.

The meetings will be conducted “in an atmosphere of trust and confidentiality.” On Saturday morning, June 2, the Pope will celebrate Mass privately at Casa Santa Marta. In the afternoon, a meeting with the group is scheduled which will be followed by individual meetings.

The communique concluded: “The Holy Father continues to ask the faithful of Chile, and especially the faithful of the parishes where these priests have exercised their pastoral ministry—to accompany them with prayer and solidarity during these days.”