The Latest: Chile bishops return home, vow to help reform
This frame taken from video provided by the CTV Vatican television Thursday, May 17, 2018, Juan Barros, Bishop of Osornos, greets Pope Francis during a meeting at the Vatican. Chilean Bishops announced Friday at the end of an emergency summit, over a sex abuse and cover-up scandal, held with Pope Francis that all 31 active bishops and three retired ones in Rome had signed a document offering to resign and putting their fate in the hands of the pope. Francis can accept the resignations one by one, reject them or delay a decision. (CTV via AP) (Associated Press) May 18
VATICAN CITY â" The Latest on a sex abuse and cover-up scandal involving the Catholic Church in Chile (all times local):
C hilean bishops are arriving back home after their emergency summit with Pope Francis over a sex abuse and cover-up scandal, saying they are committed to helping the pope âclean upâ the Chilean church.
Bishop Carlos Pellegrin, of Chillan, told reporters at Santiagoâs airport Friday that in offering to resign en masse, the bishops didnât want to suggest they were âabandoning shipâ and leaving the pope alone to deal with their mess.
He said: âWe are at his total disposition to clean up what we have to do, to ensure protocols that will help us care for victims better.â
He was the only bishop of a group of around ten arriving from Rome who spoke to reporters.
Victims of Chileâs most notorious predator priest are reacting with praise and hope after every Chilean bishop offered to resign over a sex abuse and cover-up scandal.
Jose Andres Murillo, who earlier this month spent hours discussing the scandal with Pope Francis at the Vatican earlier this month, called the bishops âdelinquentsâ who deserve to go.
âFor dignity, justice and truth, the bishops should leaveâ he tweeted. âThey didnât know how to protect the weakest, the exposed them to abuse and then impeded justice. For this, they only deserve to go.â
And in a tweet, Juan Carlos Cruz, the main whistleblower in the scandal, said the mass resignation was âunprecedented and goodâ and that this âwill change things forever.â
The bishops announced the mass resignations Friday after an emergency summit meeting with Pope Francis.
All of Chileâs bishops have offered to resign over a sex abuse and cover-up scandal, in what is one of the biggest shake-ups ever in the Catholic Churchâs long-running abuse saga.
At the end of an emergency summit with Pope Francis, 31 active bishops said they had signed a document offering to resign and that they were putting thei r fate in the hands of the pope.
The mass resignation marks the first time in history that an entire bishops conference had offered to step down en masse over a scandal.
It also lays bare the devastation that the case has caused to the Catholic Church in Chile and beyond.
Pope Francis has accused Chileâs bishops of destroying evidence of sex crimes, pressuring church lawyers to minimize accusations and of âgrave negligenceâ in protecting children from pedophile priests.
In a devastating 10-page document delivered to Chilean bishops during a summit this week, Francis said the entire Chilean church hierarchy was collectively responsible for âgrave defectsâ in handling abuse cases and the resulting loss of credibility that the Catholic Church has earned.
The document, reported by Chileâs T13 television and confirmed as authentic Friday by the Vatican, puts mounting pressure on the bishops as a whole to resign gi ven Francis told them that âno one can exempt himself and place the problem on the shoulders of the others.â
The bishops are due to hold a news conference in Rome later Friday.
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