Vatican defends appointment of Chilean bishop
March 31, 2015
The Vatican has released a statement defending the appointment of Bishop Juan Barros in Osorno, Chile, who has been accused of covering up sexual abuse.
Father Ciro Benedettini, the deputy director of the Vatican press office, said on March 31 that before the appointment was made, “the Congregation for Bishops carefully examined the prelate’s candidature and did not find objective reasons precluding the appointment.”
The installation of Bishop Barros was marred by angry protests at the Osorno cathedral, and members of the papal commission on sexual abuse openly questioned the appointment. But the Chilean bishop has consistently denied that he was aware of sexual abuse by a former friend, and Vatican officials apparently found no evidence to support the claims against Bishop Barros.
Earlier, Archbishop Fernando Chomali Garib of Concepcion, Chile, had disclosed that he met with Pope Francis to discuss the controversial appointment, and the Pope “told me he had analyzed all the past records and that there was no objective reason at all that Bishop Barros should not be installed as diocesan bishop.”
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- Declaration of the Vice Director of the Holy See Press Office (VIS)
- Archbishop Chomali: Pope Knew All Relevant Facts When Appointing Chilean Bishop (National Catholic Register)
- Members of papal abuse commission worried by Chilean bishop's appointment (CWN, 3/31)
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