After receiving Scicluna's report, the pope apologized, said that he had been seriously mistaken, and asked to meet the country's bishops and some survivors in person.
In May 2018 he met with Chile's bishops and asked all of them to offer their resignations, to be accepted or rejected later. He rebuked them for systemic cover-up of clerical abuse and called them to make deep changes.
Chilean officials have investigated 120 allegations of sexual abuse or cover-ups involving 167 Church officials or church workers, Reuters reports.
On March 22 Pope Frances accepted the resignation of Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, the 77-year-old Archbishop of Santiago. He is the eighth Chilean bishop to have his resignation accepted since last May.
The reason for the pope's decision was not stated, but some news reports placed it in the context of the abuse scandal. However, the cardinal was also two years past the retirement age of 75 set by Church law.
The cardinal has come under scrutiny by Chilean authorities for the possible cover-up of the crimes of abusive priests Fernando Karadima, Rigoberto Tito Rivera Muñoz, and Oscar Muñoz Toledo. He denies covering up any abuse.
Chilean police raided several archdiocesan offices last summer after Father Rigoberto Tito Rivera Muñoz was linked to a suspected network of 14 abuser-priests in the Diocese of Rancagua. In August 2018 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith found the priest guilty of sexual abuse of adults. In 2015 he had sexually assaulted a man who was about 40 years old in a room of Santiago's cathedral.
A different priest, Fr. Oscar Muñoz Toledo, the former chancellor of the Santiago archdiocese, was arrested in July 2018 following allegations he sexually abused minors.
Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, who was Archbishop of Santiago from 1998-2010, immediately before Cardinal Ezzati, in November 2018 said he left Pope Francis' Council of Cardinals in what he characterized as the end of his term.
Cardinal Errazuriz is accused of covering up sex abuse. Some of Karadima's victims have filed a complaint charging that he gave false testimony for the case.
He has also been accused of misinforming Pope Francis about Bishop Barros' alleged role in covering up abuse,
(Story continues below)
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