Catholic World News

Pope was informed of Chilean abuse victims’ complaints, AP reveals

February 05, 2018

The Associated Press has revealed that Pope Francis was informed in 2015 about complaints against Chilean Bishop Juan Barros.

During his January visit to Chile, the Pontiff told reporters that he had not received complaints about Bishop Barros. But AP has obtained a copy of a letter from a Chilean abuse victim, charging that the bishop was aware of abuse by the notorious Father Fernando Karadima, and took no action.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who chairs the special papal commission on abuse, informed members of that commission that he hand-delivered the victim’s letter to the Pontiff. Juan Carlos Cruz, the author of the letter complaining about Bishop Barros, also told AP that he had received assurances from Cardinal O’Malley that the Pope had received his letter in 2015.

Pope Francis named Bishop Barros in January 2015 to head the Osorno diocese. The appointment drew sharp criticism because of the bishop’s close ties to Karadima, and in April of that year several members of the papal abuse commission voiced their concern about the appointment. At the time Pope Francis said that the accusations against Bishop Barros were false, and that the accusers had been influenced by partisan media attacks. During his January visit to Chile the Pope repeated that he was persuaded of the bishop’s innocence, and claimed that he had never received substantial complaints against him.


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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: feedback - Feb. 06, 2018 12:55 PM ET USA

    I wish Pope Francis got rid of all his deceiving advisors.

  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Feb. 06, 2018 12:40 AM ET USA

    When you’re transforming the Church’s moral teachings on marriage and sexuality while simultaneously “saving the planet” from climate change, I can see how something as common as one more complaint about abuse-enabling could easily escape your notice...

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Feb. 05, 2018 10:58 PM ET USA

    Pope Francis' actions speak much louder, and clearly contradict his words.

  • Posted by: space15796 - Feb. 05, 2018 6:39 PM ET USA

    This is bad, very bad. I can think of no circumstance to excuse or explain this. Shattering.