Santiago, Chile, Aug 11, 2018 / 05:01 am
Police seized documents and equipment from the office of the bishop of Chile's military diocese Thursday as part of an investigation into accusations that Church officials in the country covered up clerical sexual abuse.
Personnel from Chile's Carabineros arrived at the headquarters Aug. 9 in Santiago with a court order from the O'Higgins Regional Prosecutor's Office. The offices of eight senior Church officials have been raided as part of the investigation, according to Reuters.
Chile's military diocese was led from 2004 to 2015 by Bishop Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid. Attention to clerical sex abuse has heightened since Bishop Barros' 2015 transfer to the Diocese of Osorno. Barros had been accused of covering up abuses committed by Fr. Fernando Karadima, who was convicted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2011 of abusing minors.
In a statement, the military diocese said it turned over the requested documents and equipment and expressed its willingness to cooperate in the investigative process "in everything that is required."