POPE FRANCIS ACCEPTS THE RESIGNATIONS OF 3 CHILEAN BISHOPS – POPE ACCEPTS RESIGNATION OF BISHOP ACCUSED OF COVERING UP CLERICAL SEX ABUSE

Following are two stories about the resignations of three Chilean bishops accepted by Pope Francis. You will recall that all of the nation’s bishops tendered their resignations at the end of their meeting in Rome with Pope Francis last month. The first article is the Vatican’s brief announcement, and the second is CNA’s story that includes background, etc.

One of the bishops whose resignation was accepted was Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno. In 2015 Pope Francis appointed Bishop Barros to the Diocese of Osorno, an appointment that was extremely controversial in Chile as Barros had been accused of covering up sexual abuse by a close priest friend, Fr. Fernando Karadima. Victims tried for years to convince authorities of Karadima’s crimes and Barros’ coverup. In 2011, Karadima was pronounced guilty and ordered to a life of prayer and seclusion).

POPE FRANCIS ACCEPTS THE RESIGNATIONS OF 3 CHILEAN BISHOPS

The Holy See Press Office announces that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of three Chilean Bishops–two for reasons of having reached the age limit.

Diocese of Osorno, Chile
The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral governance of the diocese of Osorno, Chile, presented by His Excellency Msgr. Juan Barros Madrid.

The Holy Father has appointed as Apostolic Administrator sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of the same diocese of Osorno, Chile, His Excellency Msgr Jorge Enrique Concha Cayuqueo, O.F.M., Auxiliary Bishop of Santiago de Chile, Chile.

Archdiocese of Puerto Montt, Chile
The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral governance of the diocese of Puerto Montt, Chile, presented by His Excellency Msgr. Cristián Caro Cordero, for reasons of having reached the age limit.

The Holy Father has appointed as Apostolic Administrator sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of the same archdiocese, Puerto Montt, Chile, the Reverend Father Ricardo Basilio Morales Galindo, O. de M., Provincial of the Mercedarians in Chile.

Diocese of Valparaiso, Chile
The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral governance of the diocese of Valparaiso, Chile, presented by His Excellency Msgr. Gonzalo Duarte García De Cortázar, SS.CC., for reasons of having reached the age limit.

The Holy Father has appointed as Apostolic Administrator sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of the same diocese, Valparaiso, Chile, the His Excellency Msgr. Pedro Mario Ossandón Buljevic, Auxiliary Bishop of Santiago de Chile, Chile.

POPE ACCEPTS RESIGNATION OF BISHOP ACCUSED OF COVERING UP CLERICAL SEX ABUSE

Vatican City, Jun 11, 2018 (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican announced Monday that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Juan Barros Madrid from his post in the diocese of Osorno, after being accused of covering-up for Chile’s most notorious abuser priest, Fernando Karadima.

The announcement came in a June 11 communique from the Vatican, along with the resignation of two other Chilean bishops who had reached the age of retirement.

Barros submitted his resignation to Pope Francis alongside every other active bishop in Chile at the close of a May 15-17 meeting between the pope and Chilean prelates, during which Francis chastised the bishops for systematic cover-up of abuse throughout the country.

Taking over as in Barros’ stead is Bishop Jorge Enrique Conchua Cayuqueo, O.F.M., auxiliary bishop of Santiago, who will serve as apostolic administrator for the Diocese of Osorno.

In addition to Barros, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Archbishop Cristián Caro Cordero of Puerto Montt, naming Fr. Ricardo Basilio Morales Galindo, provincial for the Order of Mercy in Chile as apostolic administrator.

He also accepted the resignation of Bishop Gonzalo Duarte García de Cortázar of Valparaíso, naming Bishop Pedro Mario Ossandón Buljevic, auxiliary bishop of Santiago, as apostolic administrator.

Both Caro and Duarte had reached the normal retirement age for bishops, at which it is customary for bishops to submit their resignation.

Francis had summoned the bishops of the country to Rome following an in-depth investigation and report into the Chilean clerical abuse crisis carried out by Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Msgr. Jordi Bertomeu of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in February, resulting in a 2,300 page report on the scandal.

The decision of whether to accept the bishops’ resignations is up toPope Francis. So far Barros, Caro and Duarte are the first bishops whose resignation Pope Francis has formally accepted.

The announcement of Barros’ resignation coincides with the announcement that Scicluna and Bertomeu will make another visit to Chile June 12-19, this time traveling to the diocese of Osorno, which Barros has led since 2015. The investigators will spend June 14-17 in Osorno, and the remainder of their time will be spent in Santiago.

Pope Francis’ appointment of Barros to Osorno in 2015 was met with a wave of objections and calls for his resignation. Dozens of protesters, including non-Catholics, attempted to disrupt his March 21, 2015 installation Mass at the Osorno cathedral.

Opponents have been vocal about their opposition to Barros ever since, with some of the most outspoken being victims of Karadima, who in 2011 was found guilty by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of sexually abusing several minors during the 1980s and 1990s, and sentenced to a life of prayer and solitude.

Barros maintained his innocence, saying he didn’t know the abuse was happening. Pope Francis initially backed him, refusing to allow Barros to step down from his post and calling accusations against him “calumny” during a visit to Chile in January.

However, after Scicluna and Bertomeu’s investigation, the pope in April apologized for having made “serious mistakes” in judging the case due to “a lack of truthful and balanced information.”

Since then, he has met with two rounds of abuse survivors in addition to his meeting with Chilean bishops.

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UPDATE BY VATICAN NEWS: CHILEAN BISHOPS IMPLORE FORGIVENESS FOR SEX ABUSE SCANDAL AND OFFER TO RESIGN

UPDATE BY VATICAN NEWS: CHILEAN BISHOPS IMPLORE FORGIVENESS FOR SEX ABUSE SCANDAL AND OFFER TO RESIGN

The 34 Chilean bishops who make up the country’s episcopal conference released a statement on Friday offering to resign and putting their fate in the hands of Pope Francis.

By Linda Bordoni (Vaticannews 3:51 pm)

Following three days of meetings with Pope Francis in the Vatican, the bishops of Chile read a statement in which they thanked the Pope for having listened to them “paternally and offered his fraternal correction” during these days of reflection and prayer.

Pope to decide on whether to accept the resignations

Speaking briefly to the press after having read their statement, the bishops explained that they have put their positions “in the hands of the Holy Father and will leave it to him to decide freely”for each of them.

They also referred to a document handed to them personally by the Pope in which are indicated a series of “absolutely reprehensible things that have happened in the Chilean Church in relation to unacceptable abuses of power, conscience and of sexual [nature], and which have led to diminishing of the prophetic vigor that characterized the Church.”

Appeal for forgiveness

Above all, said the bishops, they ask forgiveness for the pain caused to the victims of clerical sex abuse, to the Pope, to the people of God and to their country for their grave mistakes and omissions.

They also expressed gratitude to Archbishop Charles Scicluna and to Fr Jordi Bertomeu, the prelates charged by the Pope to investigate and to draw up the 2,300 page report into the sex abuse scandal that has rocked the Chilean Church, “for their pastoral and personal dedication, and for their effort of the past weeks to try and bring healing to the wounds of society and of the Church in their country.

“We thank the victims, the bishops continued, for their perseverance and for their courage in the face of all the grave personal, spiritual, social and family difficulties they have had to face,” a burden, they specified, often aggravated by the incomprehension and attacks of the ecclesial community.

Imploring yet again their forgiveness, the bishops ask for their help to be able to go forward on a path of healing.

A milestone in a process of deep change

Describing the past days of “honest dialogue” as a milestone in a process of deep change guided by Pope Francis, the bishops said that in communion with the Pope, they wish to re-establish justice and contribute to repair the damage caused, in order to give new impetus to the prophetic mission of the Church in Chile where, they said, “Christ should always have been at the center.”

Vowing to commit themselves fully to this new path the bishops concluded their statement expressing their desire that “the face of the Lord may shine anew” in the Chilean Church and with “humility and hope” they appealed to all to help them in their endeavor.

BREAKING: ALL OF CHILE’S BISHOPS OFFER RESIGNATIONS

BREAKING: ALL OF CHILE’S BISHOPS OFFER RESIGNATIONS

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Every bishop in Chile offered his resignation to Pope Francis after a three-day meeting at the Vatican to discuss the clerical sexual abuse scandal.

“We want to announce that all bishops present in Rome, in writing, have placed our positions in the Holy Father’s hands so that he may freely decide regarding each one of us,” Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez Errazuriz of San Bernardo said May 18 in a statement on behalf of the country’s bishops.

The unprecedented decision was made on the final day of their meeting May 15-17 with Pope Francis.

Auxiliary Bishop Fernando Ramos Perez of Santiago, secretary general of the Chilean bishops’ conference said the pope had read to the 34 bishops a document in which he “expressed his conclusions and reflections” on the 2,300-page report compiled by Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta and his aide, Father Jordi Bertomeu, during a visit to Chile to investigate the scandal.

“The pope’s text clearly showed a series of absolutely reprehensible acts that have occurred in the Chilean church in relation to those unacceptable abuses of power, of conscience and sexual abuse that have resulted in the lessening of the prophetic vigor that characterized her,” Bishop Ramos said.

MORE TO COME

POPE FRANCIS SENDS LETTER TO THE CHILEAN BISHOPS – AP REPORTS: POPE SAYS CHILEAN HIERARCHY RESPONSIBLE FOR “GRAVE DEFECTS” – FROM TELESUR: 4 CHILEAN BISHOPS RESIGN, 10 PENDING

POPE FRANCIS SENDS LETTER TO THE CHILEAN BISHOPS

At the conclusion of three days of “fraternal” meetings, Pope Francis hands the following letter to the 34 Chilean bishops with whom he had closely examined the clerical sex abuse scandal that has tarnished the image of the Latin American Church in recent decades:

To the bishops of Chile:

Dear brothers in the episcopate,

I wish to thank you for having accepted my invitation so that, together, we may make a frank discernment regarding the serious events which have damaged the ecclesial communion and undermined the work of the Church in Chile in recent years.

In light of these painful incidents which concern abuse – of minors, power, and conscience – we exchanged views on their seriousness as well as on their tragic consequences, particularly for the victims. For each of them I have wholeheartedly asked for forgiveness, an action to which all of you have united in one will and with the firm intention of repairing the damage done.

I thank you for the total willingness each one of you has shown to join and collaborate in all the changes and resolutions that we will need to implement in the short-, medium-, and long-term in order to restore justice and ecclesial communion.

Following these days of prayer and reflection, I give you a mandate to continue building a prophetic Church capable of giving pride-of-place to what is most important: Service to the Lord in the hungry, the prisoner, the migrant, and the abused.
Please do not forget to pray for me.
May Jesus bless you and the Virgin Mary watch over you.
Fraternally yours,
FRANCIS

AP REPORTS: POPE SAYS CHILEAN HIERARCHY RESPONSIBLE FOR “GRAVE DEFECTS”

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has accused Chile’s bishops of destroying evidence of sex crimes, pressuring church lawyers to minimize accusations and of “grave negligence” in protecting children from pedophile priests.

In a devastating 10-page document delivered to Chilean bishops during a summit this week, Francis said the entire Chilean church hierarchy was collectively responsible for “grave defects” in handling abuse cases and the resulting loss of credibility that the Catholic Church has earned.

The document, reported by Chile’s T13 television and confirmed as authentic Friday by the Vatican, puts mounting pressure on the bishops as a whole to resign given Francis told them that “no one can exempt himself and place the problem on the shoulders of the others.”

The bishops are due to hold a news conference in Rome later Friday.

FROM TELESUR: 4 CHILEAN BISHOPS RESIGN, 10 PENDING

Four of Chile’s bishops have resigned in connection with the child sex abuse scandal engulfing the country’s Catholic church as the emergency Vatican session overseen by Pope Francis comes to a close.

Bishops Juan Barros, Tomislov Koljatic, Horacio Valenzuela and Monsignor Andres Arteaga renounced their episcopal duties under pressure over their roles in covering up Father Fernando Karadima’s paedophilia, Clarin reports.

The bishops have so far maintained a stoic silence, but the Catholic church in Chile has confirmed they will comply with the pope’s final decision.

In a letter to the Chilean monsignors, Pope Francis said he had some “changes and resolutions” planned for the Catholic church as a result of the emergency sessions, which began May 15.

“In the light of these painful events regarding abuses – of minors, of power and of conscience – we have realized the gravity of situation, as well as the tragic consequences that particularly victims have suffered,” Pope Francis wrote, noting that seven additional bishops are likely to be removed as a means to re-establish confidence in the church.

“I want to thank you for accepting the invitation so that, together, we could make a frank discernment about the serious events that have damaged the ecclesial communion and weakened the work of the Church of Chile in recent years,” the pontiff said.

Though Karadima has never been prosecuted in a criminal court, a Vatican investigation into allegations of his abuse of minors concluded that he was guilty and he was then expelled by the church.

His main accusers – Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo – testified against Barros, saying that he enabled Karadima’s abuse. In 2015, Cruz penned a handwritten letter directly to the pope detailing Barros’ complicity.

Barros said he offered his resignation on three separate occasions, but it was rejected each time for lack of evidence.

According to Santiago Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez, the resignations of at least 10 Chilean bishops are still pending.