A Catholic bishop refused to deliver a report on clergy sexual abuse to Chile’s attorney general Thursday, saying it could harm those who testified secretly.
Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez, head of the Chilean Catholic Church’s abuse prevention committee, publicly announced his refusal to deliver the report, which was commissioned by Pope Francis. He claimed the report was for Francis’s eyes only. (RELATED: Pope Cleans House In Chile, Boots Five Bishops)
“The pope is the only recipient of this report,” Gonzalez said, according to the Associated Press.
The report is the result of 64 interviews conducted by Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Spanish Father Jordi Bertomeu, who Francis sent to Chile to investigate allegations against Juan Barros, then the bishop of Osornos. Barros was accused of covering up the crimes of his former boss, the infamous convicted pedophile Rev. Fernando Karadima.
Francis lambasted the bishops of Chile at an emergency summit after reading the report, saying they had fostered a “culture of abuse and cover-up.” Francis also held a meeting with individual Chilean victims of clergy sexual abuse and apologized for the fact that he and the leaders of the Chilean church had not fully listened to their allegations and pleas for help until now.
The entire bishops conference of Chile tendered their resignations to Francis at the end of their meeting with him. Francis has so far accepted the resignation of Barros and four other bishops.
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