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Chile: priests who committed abuse urged to come forward, admit guilt

April 11, 2011

Apologizing to all victims of clerical sexual abuse, the bishops of Chile-- quoting Pope Benedict -- called upon priests who have abused children to “openly acknowledge your guilt, submit yourselves to the demands of justice, but do not despair of God’s mercy.”

Citing a 2002 statement of Pope John Paul, the bishops added that “there no place in the priesthood for those who would abuse children and young people.”

The bishops’ April 8 statement followed a decision by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to consign Father Fernando Karadima, one of the nation’s most prominent priests, to a life of prayer and penance in reparation for the abuse he committed.

In their statement, the bishops upheld clerical celibacy as a “gift from God to His Church”

“We are confident that by means of this painful experience of purification and conversion, the Lord will strengthen the service that the Church is called to offer the People of God and Chilean society,” the bishops concluded.


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