SANTIAGO, Chile — The head of the Chilean Catholic Church’s abuse prevention committee says he will not deliver a report on sex abuse committed by priests against minors to Chile’s attorney general.
The 2,300-page report was ordered by Pope Francis after he visited the South American country.
Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez said Thursday that the information in the report could harm those who testified in secret if it became known. He said that “the pope is the only recipient of this report.”
Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Spanish Father Jordi Bertomeu were sent to Chile to investigate the accusations against then-Bishop of Osorno, Juan Barros, accused of covering up for his mentor, infamous pedophile Father Fernando Karadima.
The two men returned to Rome with the report, a product of 64 interviews. After receiving the report, Francis publicly denounced a “culture of abuse and cover-up” in Chile’s Catholic Church. He also said he was ashamed that neither he nor Chilean Church leaders truly ever listened to victims as the country’s abuse scandal spiraled.
The information in the report led to Francis holding three meetings in Rome, two with the victims of Karadima and those who’ve supported them for the past decades, and one with the entire bishops’ conference. After three days in Rome, all the bishops gave their resignation to the pope, the final decision regarding their future being in his hands.
So far, Francis has accepted the resignation of five of the bishops, including Barros.
Crux staff contributed to this report.