“We have placed our positions in the hands of the Holy Father so that he may freely decide with respect to each one of us,” the bishops of Chile had said in an unprecedented move, when they presented their resignation, May 18, 2018, in the Holy See, at the end of the meetings held with the Holy Father.
Announced by the Holy See Press Office today, June 28, 2018, in the daily bulletin, Pope Francis has accepted these additional resignations.
The announcement states:
“The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Rancagua, Chile, presented by H.E. Msgr. Alejandro Goić Karmelić. The Pope has appointed H.E. Msgr. Luis Fernando Ramos Pérez, auxiliary bishop of Santiago, Chile, as apostolic administrator “sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis” of the diocese of Rancagua, Chile.”
On May 18, 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.
The 34 Chilean bishops met Pope Francis in Rome from May 15-17 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.
In the declaration, the Chilean prelates asked 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 thanked 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 stated: “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.”
On 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,” explained the Holy Father.
The Pope told 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.”