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laPapessaGiovanna

Pope Francis accuses victim of sexual abuse of slandering bishop

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laPapessaGiovanna

Pope Francis declared he didn't see any evidence of misconduct against a Chilean bishop despite testimony of victims and dismissed them as slandering.

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Pope Francis has accused abuse victims in Chile of slandering a bishop who they say protected a pedophile priest, upending his efforts to rehabilitate the Catholic Church’s reputation while visiting South America.

Francis told reporters Thursday there was not a shred of evidence against Bishop Juan Barros Madrid, who victims of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, Chile’s most notorious priest, have accused of being complicit in his crimes.

“The day someone brings me proof against Bishop Barros, then I will talk,” Francis said before celebrating Massoutside the northern Chilean city of Iquique. “But there is not one single piece of evidence. It is all slander. Is that clear?”

The pope’s comments set off a storm in Chile, raising questions about his commitment to repairing the damage from sexual abuse scandals and improving the decline in the church’s image and following in the traditionally devout country.

“Pope Francis’ attack on the Karadima victims is a stunning setback,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, a co-director of BishopAccountability.org, a group that monitors abuse cases. “He has just turned back the clock to the darkest days of this crisis. Who knows how many victims now will decide to stay hidden, for fear they will not be believed?”

Father Karadima was convicted by the Vatican in 2011 of abusing teenage boys beginning in the 1980s, and he was ordered to lead a “life of prayer and penitence.” That year, a judge found the allegations “truthful and reliable” but dismissed a criminal casebecause the statute of limitations had expired.

Bishop Barros, a former military chaplain, was part of Father Karadima’s inner circle and, according to one of the victims, witnessed the priest’s advances on him.

“As if I could have taken a selfie or picture while Karadima abused me or others and Juan Barros stood there watching it all,” one of Father Karadima’s victims, Juan Carlos Cruz, wrote on Twitter.

Despite the allegations against Father Barros, Francis appointed him bishopof Osorno, in southern Chile, in 2015. Dozens of priests and legislators said they opposed the move.

The pope told a group of tourists visiting Vatican City in 2015 that people in Orsono who protested the appointment were “dumb.”

“The Osorno community is suffering because it’s dumb,” he said, according to video recorded by one of the tourists. The city had “let its head be filled with what politicians say, judging a bishop without any proof.”

This week, lay and religious groups from Osorno and Santiago, the capital, protested throughout the pope’s visit and called for action against the bishop.

But Bishop Barros has continued to enjoy the support of the Vatican, and there was no public indication that Francis was reconsidering his position. Bishop Barros participated in the pope’s ceremonies in Santiago, Iquique and the southern city of Temuco. In Iquique, Bishop Barros told reporters that Francis had offered him “words of support and affection.”

The Associated Press reported this week that Francis had acknowledged the furor over the legacy of Father Karadima in a 2015 letter to the Chilean bishop’s conference. The letter said the pope proposed Bishop Barros and two other bishops go on sabbatical before taking up any new positions, a plan that ultimately fell apart.

Francis began his visit to Chile on Tuesday morning by publicly apologizing for the sexual abuseinvolving the clergy, saying he felt “pained and ashamed” over the “irreparable damage” done to their victims. But he refused to meet with victims of Father Karadima.

“What the pope has done today is offensive and painful, and not only against us, but against everyone seeking to end the abuses,” James Hamilton, one of the victims, said during a news conference Thursday.

The archbishop of Santiago, Francisco Javier Errázuriz, who has been harshly criticized by Father Karadima’s victims for failing to protect them or investigate their accusations at the time, said the controversy over Bishop Barros was an “invention.”

This makes me so ragey.

It's never the wrong moment to remind victims that their words don't matter as much as a bishop's words. :pb_evil:

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Ozlsn
5 minutes ago, laPapessaGiovanna said:

Pope Francis declared he didn't see any evidence of misconduct against a Chilean bishop despite testimony of victims and dismissed them as slandering.

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Pope Francis has accused abuse victims in Chile of slandering a bishop who they say protected a pedophile priest, upending his efforts to rehabilitate the Catholic Church’s reputation while visiting South America.

Francis told reporters Thursday there was not a shred of evidence against Bishop Juan Barros Madrid, who victims of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, Chile’s most notorious priest, have accused of being complicit in his crimes.

“The day someone brings me proof against Bishop Barros, then I will talk,” Francis said before celebrating Massoutside the northern Chilean city of Iquique. “But there is not one single piece of evidence. It is all slander. Is that clear?”

The pope’s comments set off a storm in Chile, raising questions about his commitment to repairing the damage from sexual abuse scandals and improving the decline in the church’s image and following in the traditionally devout country.

“Pope Francis’ attack on the Karadima victims is a stunning setback,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, a co-director of BishopAccountability.org, a group that monitors abuse cases. “He has just turned back the clock to the darkest days of this crisis. Who knows how many victims now will decide to stay hidden, for fear they will not be believed?”

Father Karadima was convicted by the Vatican in 2011 of abusing teenage boys beginning in the 1980s, and he was ordered to lead a “life of prayer and penitence.” That year, a judge found the allegations “truthful and reliable” but dismissed a criminal casebecause the statute of limitations had expired.

Bishop Barros, a former military chaplain, was part of Father Karadima’s inner circle and, according to one of the victims, witnessed the priest’s advances on him.

“As if I could have taken a selfie or picture while Karadima abused me or others and Juan Barros stood there watching it all,” one of Father Karadima’s victims, Juan Carlos Cruz, wrote on Twitter.

Despite the allegations against Father Barros, Francis appointed him bishopof Osorno, in southern Chile, in 2015. Dozens of priests and legislators said they opposed the move.

The pope told a group of tourists visiting Vatican City in 2015 that people in Orsono who protested the appointment were “dumb.”

“The Osorno community is suffering because it’s dumb,” he said, according to video recorded by one of the tourists. The city had “let its head be filled with what politicians say, judging a bishop without any proof.”

This week, lay and religious groups from Osorno and Santiago, the capital, protested throughout the pope’s visit and called for action against the bishop.

But Bishop Barros has continued to enjoy the support of the Vatican, and there was no public indication that Francis was reconsidering his position. Bishop Barros participated in the pope’s ceremonies in Santiago, Iquique and the southern city of Temuco. In Iquique, Bishop Barros told reporters that Francis had offered him “words of support and affection.”

The Associated Press reported this week that Francis had acknowledged the furor over the legacy of Father Karadima in a 2015 letter to the Chilean bishop’s conference. The letter said the pope proposed Bishop Barros and two other bishops go on sabbatical before taking up any new positions, a plan that ultimately fell apart.

Francis began his visit to Chile on Tuesday morning by publicly apologizing for the sexual abuseinvolving the clergy, saying he felt “pained and ashamed” over the “irreparable damage” done to their victims. But he refused to meet with victims of Father Karadima.

“What the pope has done today is offensive and painful, and not only against us, but against everyone seeking to end the abuses,” James Hamilton, one of the victims, said during a news conference Thursday.

The archbishop of Santiago, Francisco Javier Errázuriz, who has been harshly criticized by Father Karadima’s victims for failing to protect them or investigate their accusations at the time, said the controversy over Bishop Barros was an “invention.”

This makes me so ragey.

It's never the wrong moment to remind victims that their words don't matter as much as a bishop's words. :pb_evil:

Sad for the victims, because they don't deserve this. It feels a lot like the Catholic church has, in some areas, decided that the heat is off, the public has moved on and so it's back to the previous status quo. Here the Royal Commission finished last year and already at least one church started taking down memorial ribbons for the victims. I don't think certain members of the hierarchy realise just how much things have shifted for the laity and public in general.

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HermioneSparrow

Francis is as awful as the past popes.. I'm pretty much done with Catholicism right now.

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47of74
Francis is as awful as the past popes.. I'm pretty much done with Catholicism right now.


Yeah I am too. Short of him opening the priesthood to women, mandating the next 20 Popes be female, and telling the Reich to life to fuck off I wouldn’t go back.

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Cleopatra7

It’s a common attitude among conservative Catholics of, “won’t someone please think of teh preetz” rather than the victims. And then they wonder why so many people reject Catholic teachings about sex, sexuality, and gender,

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NakedKnees

I work a stone's throw from where the Pope stayed in Santiago last week. The entire city shut down for him, but the streets were not packed with supporters. Churches were vandalized like crazy. This is a Catholic country, but I severely doubt you'll be able to call it that in a generation or two.

What bothers me about these comments (aside from the obvious) is his timing. Chile is a long, thin country, and he had three stops: Santiago (central), Temuco (South), and Iquique (North). His trip actually went Santiago-Temuco-Santiago-Iquique-Peru, so he waited until the very last stop to make these comments. It makes me think that he reallizes how much support this bishop lacks. Furthermore, Temuco is just a two-hour drive from Osorno. The whole context just seems cowardly to me.

I can't say I know who all of Karadima's victims are, but unfortunately/infamously, they tended to come from wealthy and conservative families as children in the 1950s and 1960s, and many of them went on to support the Pincohet dictatorship, which complicates things today. Some of them are very vocal and I support them in sharing their story and requesting justice no matter their politics, but I suspect it's tough to organize against the catholic church when  you belong to these groups that tend to involve Catholic-Conservative-"Pinochetista" (dictatorship-supporting) attitudes in interwoven ways.

Furthermore, the last pope visit to Chile occured during the dictatorship and is remembered with a lot of broken trust, as countless catholic organizations were working against the human rights violations during the dictatorship at that time. Pope Francis did zilch to address that.

Anyway, I'm not an expert and I whole-heartedly apologize if I'm off-base about anything here, but these are just some observations I've picked up being "on the ground" in Santiago.

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laPapessaGiovanna

Thank you @NakedKnees

I find your observations very interesting. I think what you said about the victims background helps explain the mixed reactions at their stories. The wounds left by the dictatorship clearly are still very raw and the ambiguous position of the Catholic Church towards the regime at the time doesn't help.

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VelociRapture
On 1/19/2018 at 3:50 PM, HermioneSparrow said:

Francis is as awful as the past popes.. I'm pretty much done with Catholicism right now.

This wasn’t the only reason husband and I both left, but it’s a major reason we’ve stayed gone. I don’t want my child growing up in a Church that refuses to properly tackle child sexual abuse and that teaches her Uncle is an abomination for being Trans and Bi. It definitely worries me at times because Catholic guilt and worrying that we’re condemning her to hell, but I’d rather risk that then have her grow up in the Catholic Church at this point.   

I do appreciate that others feel differently and have stayed though. I honestly don’t think anything with the Church is going to change unless the people remaining force it to. 

2 hours ago, NakedKnees said:

I work a stone's throw from where the Pope stayed in Santiago last week. The entire city shut down for him, but the streets were not packed with supporters. Churches were vandalized like crazy. This is a Catholic country, but I severely doubt you'll be able to call it that in a generation or two.

What bothers me about these comments (aside from the obvious) is his timing. Chile is a long, thin country, and he had three stops: Santiago (central), Temuco (South), and Iquique (North). His trip actually went Santiago-Temuco-Santiago-Iquique-Peru, so he waited until the very last stop to make these comments. It makes me think that he reallizes how much support this bishop lacks. Furthermore, Temuco is just a two-hour drive from Osorno. The whole context just seems cowardly to me.

I can't say I know who all of Karadima's victims are, but unfortunately/infamously, they tended to come from wealthy and conservative families as children in the 1950s and 1960s, and many of them went on to support the Pincohet dictatorship, which complicates things today. Some of them are very vocal and I support them in sharing their story and requesting justice no matter their politics, but I suspect it's tough to organize against the catholic church when  you belong to these groups that tend to involve Catholic-Conservative-"Pinochetista" (dictatorship-supporting) attitudes in interwoven ways.

Furthermore, the last pope visit to Chile occured during the dictatorship and is remembered with a lot of broken trust, as countless catholic organizations were working against the human rights violations during the dictatorship at that time. Pope Francis did zilch to address that.

Anyway, I'm not an expert and I whole-heartedly apologize if I'm off-base about anything here, but these are just some observations I've picked up being "on the ground" in Santiago.

Thank you very much for your perspective. I know little about Chile (or the other beautiful countries of South American), so your thoughts are helpful. 

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HermioneSparrow
1 hour ago, VelociRapture said:

This wasn’t the only reason husband and I both left, but it’s a major reason we’ve stayed gone. I don’t want my child growing up in a Church that refuses to properly tackle child sexual abuse and that teaches her Uncle is an abomination for being Trans and Bi. It definitely worries me at times because Catholic guilt and worrying that we’re condemning her to hell, but I’d rather risk that then have her grow up in the Catholic Church at this point.   

I do appreciate that others feel differently and have stayed though. I honestly don’t think anything with the Church is going to change unless the people remaining force it to. 

Thank you very much for your perspective. I know little about Chile (or the other beautiful countries of South American), so your thoughts are helpful. 

Sounds like you guys are amazing parents who just want to protect and teach principles to her, sounds like one lucky little girl. I doubt the God I believe in would agree with the Catholic church (and other religions) wrongdoings. I don't want to raise my future kid(s) in that church. 

I live in Argentina and most people here don't care he's the Pope (he's argentinian), also there's a lot of atheists down here soooo.. Argentinians are not that into religion.

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Gobsmacked
On 19/01/2018 at 8:50 PM, HermioneSparrow said:

Francis is as awful as the past popes.. I'm pretty much done with Catholicism right now.

We left when the church community who we thought were our friends, dropped us when #1 was ill but undiagnosed and we were frantically trying to find decent Doctors. The folk who helped us through the rough years that followed both in practical ways and with wine and hugs were non-church goers. Every single one. 

We were both brought up attending church and initially brought our children up in the church. No more. Nope. It will take a miracle for us to return. 

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Ozlsn
On 23/01/2018 at 10:43 AM, Gobsmacked said:

We left when the church community who we thought were our friends, dropped us when #1 was ill but undiagnosed and we were frantically trying to find decent Doctors. The folk who helped us through the rough years that followed both in practical ways and with wine and hugs were non-church goers. Every single one. 

We were both brought up attending church and initially brought our children up in the church. No more. Nope. It will take a miracle for us to return. 

The wtf reaction is to the members of your church, not you. Seriously?! That is horrible. I am glad you had a supportive group of friends, but I cannot get my head around what the church people were thinking at all.

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