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Embattled Chilean bishop defends himself, insisting he was unaware of abuse

October 27, 2015

Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, Chile, has issued a statement repeating his insistence that he was not aware of sexual abuse by a priest who had been his friend.

In a statement read at Mass in all parishes of the Osorno diocese on October 26, Bishop Barros said that he has been unjustly accused of covering up misconduct by Father Fernando Karadima, a notorious abuser. At least three of Karadima’s victims have charged that the future bishop knew about the abuse at the time it occurred. Bishop Barros has consistently said that he was unaware of the abuse much alter.

Earlier this month Pope Francis—who had courted controversy by appointing Bishop Barros to the Osorno diocese—defended that appointment in unusually blunt terms, saying that the accusations against the bishop were “unfounded allegations of the leftists,” and lamenting that many people in the Osorno diocese had been “carried away by the garbage.”


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  • Posted by: Elan - Oct. 28, 2015 3:56 AM ET USA

    He should remain in the office to which he is appointed. Pope Clement wrote to the Corinthians about this very thing. Clement's Epistle to the Corinthians chap. XLIV and XLV.

  • Posted by: polish.pinecone4371 - Oct. 27, 2015 8:23 PM ET USA

    But at which point, feedback, does the will of the people become the rule of law? In other words, if the people prevail in this instance over a man who claims innocence and whom the Pope himself says is innocent, then what's to prevent them from making a clamor about the next guy?

  • Posted by: feedback - Oct. 27, 2015 5:41 PM ET USA

    The Bishop is not a shepherd for himself but for the People of God. Whether he is guilty of cover up or not, at this point it would be better for the Church if he stepped down and be replaced by another good Bishop with clean record. Innocent suffering would be much better than the possibility of continued scandal.