Vatican City, Jun 6, 2018 / 10:39 am
UPDATE: The Archdiocese of Santiago announced June 6 that Archbishop Scicluna and Msgr. Bertomeu will visit Chile June 12-19. They will spend June 14-17 in the Diocese of Osorno, and the remainder of their time in Santiago.
The Vatican announced Thursday that to help with the process of healing in Chile, Pope Francis will send Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Msgr. Jordi Bertomeu to the Diocese of Osorno, and will issue a pastoral letter on the nation's abuse crisis.
A May 31 statement from Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said in order to “advance the process of healing and reparation for victims of abuse” in Chile, Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Msgr. Jordi Bertomeu of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will travel to Osorno in the coming days.
The Diocese of Osorno has been in the international spotlight the past few years after the controversial appointment of Bishop Juan Barros in 2015, who has been accused of covering up the crimes of his longtime friend Fr. Fernando Karadima, one of Chile's most notorious abusers.
In 2011, Karadima was found guilty by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of sexually abusing several minors during the 1980s and 1990s, and sentenced to a life of prayer and solitude.
In addition to Scicluna and Bertomeu's visit, Burke also announced that Pope Francis will send a letter to the president of the Chilean Bishops Conference, Bishop Santiago Silva Retamales, addressed to the People of God.
Scicluna and Bertomeu traveled to both the United States and Santiago in February to investigate the accusations against Barros, as well as other cases of clerical abuse in the country.
The Maltese archbishop is widely recognized as the Vatican's top investigator on clerical abuse. In 2015 he was named by the Pope to oversee the team in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith charged with handling appeals filed by clergy accused of abuse. He served as the congregation’s Promoter of Justice for 17 years, and is widely known for his expertise in the canonical norms governing allegations of sexual abuse.