Vatican City, May 12, 2018 / 04:42 am
From May 15-17 Pope Francis will meet with 33 Chilean bishops to share his personal take on the country's massive clerical abuse crisis and help the local Church to find a way forward implementing processes of healing and prevention.
During the discussion, Francis will share his reflections on the results of an investigation into abuse cover-up by Church hierarchy in Chile conducted by Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna earlier this year, and the subsequent 2,300 page report he drafted on conclusions of the investigation.
According to a May 12 Vatican communique, Pope Francis, “questioned by the circumstances and the extraordinary challenges that the sexual abuse and abuses of power and conscience planted in Chile in recent decades, considers it necessary to profoundly examine their causes and consequences, as well as the mechanisms which in some cases have led to the cover-up and serious omissions from the victims.”
The objective of the 3-day “synodal process,” the Vatican said, is for the pope and Chilean bishops to place themselves in the presence of God and discern together the culpability of both individuals and of the local Church as a whole “in these devastating wounds.”
They will also study “the adequate and lasting changes” which ought to be implemented in order to prevent the repetition “of these always reprehensible acts.”
Set to take place in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, the meeting will also be attended by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
The meeting with Chilean bishops falls just two weeks after he held individual meetings with three survivors of clerical sexual abuse from Chile: Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Andres Murillo.
After their meetings with the pope, Cruz, Hamilton and Murillo said they believed Francis was largely misinformed by people around him, and called out Archbishop Ivo Scapolo, nuncio to Chile since 2011, and Chilean Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz, Archbishop Emeritus of Santiago and a member of Pope Francis' council of cardinal advisors, as main agents in the cover-up.