Santiago, Chile, Apr 13, 2010 / 10:07 am
During his keynote address for the opening of the 99th Plenary Assembly of the Bishops’ Conference of Chile, Bishop Alejandro Goic underscored the firm position of Pope Benedict XVI in response to cases of sexual abuse by the clergy, saying the Holy Father does not accept any excuses for these crimes.
During the address for which Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone was present, Bishop Goic reiterated the Chilean bishops’ commitment to declare “with renewed conviction our joyful encounter with the Lord.”
He went on to thank Cardinal Bertone for his visit to the areas most impacted by the February earthquake. “You have been able to see that our people are on their feet, that hope has not diminished, that in times of anguish we are capable of working together, and that on this journey the Church’s leadership is present and permanent.”
Referring to the crisis of sexual abuse by the clergy, Bishop Goic said the Chilean bishops reiterate “our full communion with our beloved Universal Father and Pastor, who has reminded us with perfect clarity the evangelical direction we must take to treat these cases, which are always complex. They do not cease to be of the utmost gravity despite being rare.”