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Pope Francis Has Received Three Victims of Abuse in Chile

Such meetings were mentioned in his April 11 letter, where the Pope admitted he “made serious mistakes in the assessment and perception of the situation,” partially due to “a lack of truthful and balanced information”

 

These meetings, as Greg Burke, Director of the Holy See Press Office, clarified when announcing the visits on April 25, were arranged out of the Pontiff’s wish “to ask them for forgiveness, to share their suffering and shame for what they have suffered and, above all, to listen to them and all their suggestions to avoid repetition of such reprehensible facts.”

On Friday, April 27, Greg Burke issued the following statement: “This afternoon, Friday 27 April, the Holy Father began his personal meetings with victims of abuse committed in Chile. No official communiqué will be issued regarding their content, by express wish of the Pope: his priority is to listen to the victims, to ask their forgiveness and to respect the confidentiality of the meetings.

“In this atmosphere of trust and reparation for suffering, Pope Francis’ intention is to let the guests speak as long as necessary, and so there are no fixed schedules or pre-arranged contents,” it concluded.

In the original April 25 statement, Greg Burke explained that the Pope will receive the victims individually, “letting everyone speak for as long as they need to.”

The Holy Father, Greg Burke also noted, “asks for prayers for the Church in Chile at this painful moment, wishing that these meetings can take place in a climate of trust and confidence and be a fundamental step to remedy and avoid forever the abuses of consciousness, power, and in particular, sexuality, within the Church.”

These meetings were scheduled after the Pope issued a letter on April 11, acknowledging that he “made serious mistakes in the assessment and perception of the situation, partially due to “a lack of truthful and balanced information.”

The letter was sent at the end of the inquiry conducted by his special envoy, Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna, President of the Special Appeal Panel in cases of sexual abuse of minors by clerics, in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on the case of Bishop Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid, Bishop of Osorno, accused by lay people in his diocese of having been aware of the acts of sexual abuse of his former mentor, Fr Fernando Karadima. He was convicted of sexual and psychological abuse by the Vatican in 2011.

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in four languages). She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, EWTN and Salt & Light. For 'The Other Francis': https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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