Pope Francis admits serious mistakes and asks for forgiveness

serious mistakes

Pope Francis has asked forgiveness from the victims of clerical sexual abuse in Chile after receiving a report by the papal envoy, Bishop Charles Scicluna.

“I have made serious mistakes in the assessment and my perception of the situation, especially due to a lack of truthful and balanced information,”  the Pope said in a letter addressed to the Chilean bishops.

“I apologize to all those I have offended,” he said, adding that he plans to apologize personally to some of the survivors who gave testimony “in the coming weeks.”

Afte reading the 2,300-page dossier his envoys prepared after a nearly two-week visit to New York and Chile Francis said he felt “pain and shame” for the “crucified lives” of those who suffered abuse.

He praised the 64 people who gave testimonials for having had the courage to bare the “wounds of their souls” for the sake of truth.

Francis also thanked news organizations for respecting the victims’ confidentiality while “respecting the right of citizens to information.”

Francis had twice defended Bishop Juan Barros Madrid during his Jan. 15-18 trip to Chile, calling the accusations against Barros “calumny” and even saying then he was “convinced he is innocent.”

Barros, whom Francis appointed to the small diocese of Osorno in 2015, has been accused of protecting notorious abuser Fr. Fernando Karadima as a priest in the 1980s and ’90s.

Subsequently, he sent Scicluna to investigate the scandal.

Francis has summoned Chile’s bishops to the Vatican for an emergency meeting in the coming weeks to discuss the scandal.

He has made clear that Chile’s bishops must now work to “re-establish confidence in the church, confidence that was broken by our errors and sins, and heal the wounds that continue to bleed in Chilean society.”

While the letter doesn’t reveal Scicluna’s conclusions, Francis made clear the bishops needed to “repair the scandal where possible and re-establish justice.”


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