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Pope apologizes for disbelieving Chile sex abuse victims



Eli Ridder | The Avro Post

Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic Church, apologized on Wednesday for comments he made earlier this year when he accused victims of alleged child sex abuse of committing slander against a bishop who covered for a priest.

In a letter to the South American country’s bishops, Francis said he felt “sadness and shame” over the “serious mistakes” he made in January defending Juan Barros by saying “there is not a single piece of proof against him. Everything is slander.”

The Pontiff has invited some of the victims of the abuse suffered under priest, Fernando Karadima, who molested young boys in Santiago since the 1980s while Bishop Barros was present.

Father Karadima will never face prosecution due to the length of time, but the judge who heard victim testimonies described them as “truthful and reliable”, and victims told news media that the Pope’s demand they provide evidence “offensive”.

At the end of the Pope’s Latin America tour, he apologized for his harsh words but maintained that Barros was innocent, however, in Wednesday’s letter he said he “made serious mistakes in assessing and perceiving the situation”.

More details to follow. Image of Pope Francis in Chile from Crux Now. 

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