Catholic World News

Pope defends appointment of Chilean bishop accused of ignoring abuse

October 05, 2015

A Chilean television station has broadcast a video in which Pope Francis defends the appointment of Bishop Juan Barros to head the Diocese of Osorno—an appointment that drew sharp criticism because Bishop Barros had been charged with ignoring evidence of sexual abuse.

Bishop Barros, who was appointed to the Osorno diocese earlier this year, had been a friend of Father Fernando Karadima, a priest who was convicted on multiple charges of sexual abuse. At least three of Karadima’s victims have said that Bishop Barros was aware of the abuse when it occurred. The bishop has denied those charges, saying that he only became aware of Karadima’s misconduct much later.

The Vatican has defended the Barros appointment, saying that Pope Francis was fully briefed about the controversy and convinced that Bishop Barros was being criticized unjustly.

Now the Mega television station has broadcast a video that shows the Pope using blunt language to defend the bishop’s appointment. In the message—apparently recorded by a Chilean cleric who met with the Pontiff-- the Pope says that the people of the Osorno diocese should not be “swayed by the unfounded allegations of the leftists.” Using blunt language, the Pope laments that many people in Chile have been “carried away by the garbage everybody says.”

 


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