“Vatican sex abuse investigator hospitalized in Chile” & related articles

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The Spokesman-Review

Wed., Feb. 21, 2018, 7:47 a.m.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna points during a press conference prior to a meeting with people who claim to have been victims of sexual abuse by members of the Church, in Santiago, Chile, Tuesday, February 20, 2018. (Luis Hidalgo / Associated Press)
Archbishop Charles Scicluna points during a press conference prior to a meeting with people who claim to have been victims of sexual abuse by members of the Church, in Santiago, Chile, Tuesday, February 20, 2018. (Luis Hidalgo / Associated Press)
Archbishop Charles Scicluna points during a press conference prior to a meeting with people who claim to have been victims of sexual abuse by members of the Church, in Santiago, Chile, Tuesday, February 20, 2018. (Luis Hidalgo / Associated Press)
By Patricia Luna Associated Press

SANTIAGO, Chile – The special envoy sent by Pope Francis to investigate allegations that a bishop had covered up sex abuse was undergoing gallbladder surgery Wednesday in Chile, church officials said.

The curia for Charles Scicluna’s archdiocese in Malta announced the surgery in a brief statement.

The spokesman for the Chilean Catholic bishop’s conference, Jaime Coiro, said Scicluna was stable and conscious and said he wasn’t expected to remain hospitalized more than two days.

The bishop’s conference said Scicluna had been suffering pain since last week.

The Maltese archbishop entered the hospital Tuesday after starting his interviews with victims and others opposed to the appointment of a bishop accused of covering up for the country’s most notorious pedophile priest.

Coiro said the pope has asked that interviews with witnesses continue Wednesday through Friday as planned. They are to be handled by Jordi Bertomeu, a Spanish priest who has been serving as Scicluna’s translator and notary.

Scicluna came to Chile to investigate complaints about Bishop Juan Barros, who has been strongly defended until now by the pope.

Barros has been accused by victims of witnessing and ignoring the abuse of young parishioners by the Rev. Fernando Karadima, who was removed from ministry and sentenced to a lifetime of “penance and prayer” in 2010.

Barros has denied knowing of the abuse.

Barros has been a bishop since 1995, but his 2015 appointment to the city of Osorno by Francis caused outrage after the Karadima scandal had eroded the Catholic Church’s credibility in Chile. He has faced protests in Osorno by priests and lay Catholics who question how someone who says he never saw anything suspicious at the parish could be trusted to protect Osorno’s children today.

Jose Andres Murillo, one of the three victims who have spoken publicly of abuse of Karadima and have accused Barros of a cover-up, came Wednesday to meet with the investigators.

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Vatican investigator meets with Chilean sex abuse victims

680 News

Posted Feb 20, 2018 4:14 pm EST

Last Updated Feb 20, 2018 at 11:00 pm EST

by Patricia Luna, The Associated Press

Catholic Priest Jordi Bartolome, left, Archbishop Charles Scicluna, center, and Papal Nuncio Ivo Scapolo, stand prior a press conference prior to a meeting with people who claim to have been victims of sexual abuse by members of the Church, in Santiago, Chile, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. Scicluna, arrived in Chile on Monday, sent by the Pope Francis, to gather testimonies accusing the Archbishop of Osorno of covering up sexual abuses committed by priest Fernando Karadima. (AP Photo/ Luis Hidalgo)

SANTIAGO, Chile – The Vatican’s sex abuse investigator on Tuesday began a series of meetings in Chile with victims and others who have opposed the appointment of a bishop accused of covering up for the country’s most notorious pedophile priest.

Pope Francis has strongly backed Bishop Juan Barros, who is accused by victims of witnessing and ignoring the abuse of young parishioners by the Rev. Fernando Karadima, who was removed from ministry and sentenced to a lifetime of “penance and prayer” in 2010.

The Chilean conference of bishops said that Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna will also talk to a delegation of lay Catholics and priests from the Chilean diocese of Osorno during four days of meetings. He will exclusively be gathering information on Barros.

On Saturday, Scicluna met in New York with Juan Carlos Cruz, a key victim in the Chilean sex abuse scandal.

Cruz said that Scicluna told him he would gather all the evidence and testimony from victims in the Barros case and speak directly to Francis about it. He said the conversation also touched on the alleged roles several other bishops as well as Chilean Cardinals Francisco Javier Errazuriz and Ricardo Ezzati played in the coverup.

The cardinals have all denied any wrongdoing, and Barros has also denied seeing or knowing of any abuse.

In Chile, Scicluna met with James Hamilton and will meet with Jose Andres Murillo, who along with Cruz have denounced Karadima and the role Barros allegedly played in covering up the abuses. He will also talk to three priests who worked for Barros.

“I hope the cover up in the church in Santiago by Errazuriz, Ezzati and several other bishops is evident,” Hamilton said after he left his meeting with Scicluna.

Hamilton said the information transmitted to the pope by these cardinals did not reflect what happened in Chile and this affected Francis’ visit to the country.

“It is the moment for the dirt to start coming out from under the rug,” he said.

Barros has been a bishop since 1995, but his 2015 appointment to Osorno by Francis caused outrage after the Karadima scandal eroded the Catholic Church’s credibility in Chile. He has faced protests in Osorno by priests and lay Catholics who question how someone who says he never saw anything suspicious at the parish could be trusted to protect Osorno’s children today.

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Vatican Special Envoy Hears Chilean Abuse Victims’ Testimony

Vatican Special Envoy Hears Chilean Abuse Victims’ Testimony

US News & World report

20 February 2018

By Cassandra Garrison

Vatican special envoy Archbishop Charles Scicluna speaks with the media after meeting with victims of sexual abuse allegedly committed by members of the church, in Santiago, Chile February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Claudio SantanaReuters

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – A Chilean man who was sexually abused by a priest said he was hopeful that the testimony he shared on Tuesday with a Vatican investigator would lead to better protection for children.

“I hope that in the Chile of the future, there is security for children, there is no statute of limitations on sexual abuse, that Sename (Chile’s child protection service) cares for children,” James Hamilton told reporters on Tuesday. “It does not matter to me what the Catholic Church determines.”

Hamilton’s testimony against Father Fernando Karadima during a previous Vatican investigation helped convict the priest in 2011 of abusing a number of boys.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna is in Santiago looking into accusations that a bishop covered up crimes against minors. He started hearing victims’ testimony on Tuesday, including that of Hamilton.

Scicluna of Malta was sent to Chile after Pope Francis was criticized during his visit last month for defending Bishop Juan Barros, whom he appointed in 2015 despite accusations that he had covered up sexual abuse of minors.

Hamilton said he is convinced Scicluna will bring the truth to Pope Francis.

“I have no doubt that Monsignor Scicluna is going to share [with the pope] what is really happening in Chile,” he said.

Several men have accused Barros of protecting Karadima, his former mentor.

Scicluna, known for his role in the sexual abuse investigation that led to the removal of late Mexican priest Marcial Maciel in 2005, arrived in Santiago on Monday. On Tuesday, he had interviews with victims in Providencia, the wealthy Santiago neighborhood that is home to Karadima’s former parish.

“I have come to Chile, sent by Pope Francis, to gather useful information concerning Monsignor Juan Barros,” Scicluna said in a short statement to reporters after the meetings. “I want to express my gratitude to the people who have expressed their willingness to meet me in the next few days.”

Barros, of the diocese of Osorno, has said he was unaware of any wrongdoing by Karadima.

Scicluna was due to hear testimony from victims until his scheduled departure from Chile on Friday.

Before his trip to Chile, Scicluna heard testimony in New York from a witness in the case against Barros, Juan Carlos Cruz.

(Additonal reporting by Philip Pullella and David Sherwood; editing by Caroline Stauffer and Frances Kerry)

1 Response to “Vatican sex abuse investigator hospitalized in Chile” & related articles

  1. Sylvia says:

    What a shame that Archbishop Scicluna can not continue the interviews and investigation. It sounds as though he is doing well and will be out and about in no time, but he will still be feeling a bit under the weather for a spell. I do pray for his speedy recovery.

    It will definitely be interesting to see what comes of the investigation.

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