Friday, January 19, 2018
Pope Accuses Chileans of Slander
Backing up Bishop Barros, accused of knowing his mentor's sex crimes - "Not a single piece of evidence"
Iquique (kath.net/KAP) Pope Francis has defended the Chilean Bishop Juan Barros, who was attacked in connection with an abuse scandal. There is "not a single piece evidence" against him, said Francis on his last visit to Chile on Thursday. "Everything is slander, is that clear?" Said the Pope. Francis spoke at a service in Iquique. It was the final Mass of his four-day visit to Chile.
"On the day on when I am presented with proof against Bishop Barros, I will speak," said Francis on the question of a local reporter. Barros is accused of having known of sexual offenses of the priest Fernando Karadima. There is no evidence to date.
The now 87-year-old Karadima, once one of Chile's most prominent Catholic clergy, was convicted of abuse in 2011. Barros was one of the spiritual disciples of Karadima. Pope Francis appointed Barros in early 2015 from the chief military bishop to the shepherd of the small diocese of Osorno in southern Chile. Francis’ personnel decision also drew criticism.
The debate over Barros and his appearances at events with Francis lasted throughout the Pope’s stay in Chile.
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org