Chile’s Catholic Church requires ‘drastic answer’ following abuse scandal

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Chile’s Roman Catholic Church known as on Thursday for a “drastic answer” that might embrace resignations, a day after Pope Francis acknowledged “grave errors” in dealing with a sexual abuse disaster and summoned its leaders to Rome.

President of the Chilean Episcopal Convention, monsignor Santiago Silva, speaks to the media after receiving Pope Francis’ letter stating, that the pope could summon Chile’s bishops to Rome for a gathering on the nation’s sexual abuse disaster, in Punta de Tralca, Chile, April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

At a gathering of Church management on Chile’s central coast, Santiago Silva, the president of the Episcopal Convention, mentioned change was inevitable.

“It’s potential that the pope will ask some (bishops) to go away their diocese … there should be a drastic answer, robust and decisive, that’s for sure,” Silva informed native radio station Cooperativa.

In a unprecedented step, Pope Francis mentioned in a letter on Wednesday that he had made errors in his evaluation of the disaster. In January, he had dismissed as “slander” accusations that Chilean bishop Juan Barros had lined up sexual abuse of minors by his mentor Father Fernando Karadima.

Barros informed Chilean media on the assembly of Church management that “the pope at all times seeks the very best for everybody.” Barros was appointed bishop of Osorno, in southern Chile, by Pope Francis in 2015.

Basic secretary of the Chilean Episcopal Convention, monsignor Fernando Ramos, reads for the media the Pope Francis’ letter stating, that the pope could summon Chile’s bishops to Rome for a gathering on the nation’s sexual abuse disaster, in Punta de Tralca, Chile, April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

Osorno parishioners mentioned on Wednesday that particular measures, together with the resignation of Barros, had been wanted to revive confidence within the Church.

The pope’s letter adopted a go to to Chile by one of many Vatican’s most skilled sexual abuse investigators, Archbishop Charles Scicluna.

Scicluna’s 2,300-page report prompted Francis to summon Chile’s bishops to Rome for a gathering. He didn’t say when it could happen.

“We’ll meet with the pope and we are going to suggest to him a plan of renovation for the Church,” Silva mentioned on Thursday.

Reporting by Antonio de la Jara, writing by Dave Sherwood, Enhancing by Rosalba O’Brien

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