Pope Francis recently visited Chile, ostensibly to offer support to victims of Rev Fernando Karadima, a notorious paedophile. While there, however, he said that until he saw proof that Bishop Juan Barros helped cover up Karadima’s sex crimes, he would consider all accusations against Barros to be “calumny.”
Pope Francis had already angered Karadima’s victims when he appointed Juan Barros, a protégé of Karadima, as bishop of the southern diocese of Osorno in 2015. This trip to Chile was intended to help repair the wounds caused by his appointment of Barros, and to repair the reputation of the church in Chile. Instead, he has brought still more division and disappointment with the Catholic Church in Chile.
We are disappointed to see this lack of consideration for individuals who have already suffered at the hands of an abuser and applaud those who have come forward with their stories.