Chilean bishops and Pope discussing reforms following scandal

Thirty Chilean bishops are in Rome to meet with Pope Francis.

Francis summoned them to the Vatican last month.

He wants to discuss short, medium and long-term reforms to the church.

Francis has admitted he made “grave errors in judgment” about Bishop Juan Barros’s role in covering up sexual abuse perpetrated by Fr Fernando Karadima.

He blames a “lack of truthful and balanced information” for his errors.

The executive committee of the Chilean bishops conference says the bishops came to Rome in “humility and hope.”

Their meeting with Francis includes examining the clerical sex abuse cover-up.

The bishops have praised Francis’s recent meetings with three of Karadima’s survivors, saying his example “showed us the path that the Chilean church is called to follow.”

The survivors, Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo, stayed with Francis as his guests early this month so he could listen to their testimony.

He personally apologised to them for having discredited them in January.

At that time he said their accusations against Barros’s role in covering up sexual abuse were “calumny.”

He had also demanded they provide proof of Barros’s wrongdoing.

However, after receiving a 2,300-page report compiled by top Vatican investigators who traveled to Chile and interviewed victims, priests and lay Catholics, Francis realised he had been misled.


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