In an unprecedented move, the bishops of Chile have presented their resignation, this Friday, May 18, 2018, in the Holy See, at the end of the meetings held with the Holy Father in these days.
The 34 Chilean bishops have been meeting with Pope Francis in Rome from May 15 to 17 to “examine in depth their causes and consequences, as well as the mechanisms that have led in some cases to their cover-up and serious omissions towards the victims” , reported the Holy See in a statement , published on May 12.
Monsignor Juan Ignacio González, Bishop of San Bernardo and Member of the Permanent Committee of the Episcopal Conference of Chile, and Bishop Fernando Ramos, Auxiliary Bishop of Santiago, and Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference of Chile, have presented the resignation declaration , today, at 12:30 in the Vatican.
Forgive the victims, the Pope, the People of God and the country
In the declaration, the Chilean prelates ask for forgiveness “for the pain caused to the victims, to the Pope, to the People of God and to the country for our grave errors and omissions” and thank Pope Francis “for his fatherly listening and fraternal correction ”
Likewise, the bishops thank the victims “for their perseverance and courage, despite the enormous personal, spiritual, social and family difficulties they have had to face, so many times in the midst of incomprehension and attacks by the ecclesial community itself” .
Finally, the bishops of Chile have communicated: “All the bishops present in Rome have placed our positions in the hands of the Holy Father so that he freely decides with respect to each one of us”.
Determination of the Pope
Nevertheless, Bishop Juan Ignacio González, Bishop of San Bernardo, has specified that placing his pastoral offices at the Pope’s complete disposition “implies that as long as the Holy Father does not make a determination, each one of the bishops members of the Episcopal Conference of Chile, continues in its pastoral works and in full functions.”
On the other hand, within the clarifications that the two bishops have added to the statement, Bishop Ramos, Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference of Chile, has narrated how the meetings with the Holy Father, which began with a first meeting, have been developed. in which the Pope read a document where he expressed his conclusions and reflections on the report of Archbishop Scicluna regarding his visit to Chile,” and continued with three other meetings, where “each bishop was able to express his reaction, opinion and vision, on what was pointed out by the Pope,” noted Bishop Ramos.
“It was right to declare our absolute availability to put our pastoral offices in the hands of the Pope,” the auxiliary bishop of Santiago explained, “to be in greater harmony with the will of the Holy Father.”
Changes and resolutions
Yesterday, Thursday, May 17, Pope Francis wrote a letter to the 34 bishops, after having four meetings with them in three days, to make a “frank discernment in the face of the grave events that have damaged the ecclesial communion and weakened the work of the Church of Chile in recent years, “explains the Holy Father.
The Chilean bishops have shown “full availability,” noted Francis in the letter, to adhere and collaborate in “all those changes and resolutions that we will have to implement in the short, medium and long term, necessary to restore justice and ecclesial communion “
Thus, the Pope sent the bishops “to continue building a prophetic Church, which knows how to put in the center what is important: the service to its Lord in the hungry, in the prisoner, in the migrant, in the abused.”