October 27, 2020

The Chilean Church affirms that sexual abuse "should never have happened"

The Chilean Church affirms that sexual abuse "should never have happened"



The Chilean Church, peppered for decades by cases of sexual abuse committed by people related to the clergy, said Thursday that "these events should never have happened."

"These events should never have happened and we want them never to happen again," emphasized the apostolic administrator of Santiago, Celestino Aós, who today met with four priests who were victims of sexual abuse by the influential priest Fernando Karadima.

"The truth is that the abuses were important and we have to recognize them in Fernando Karadima, but the abuses are not exclusive to him," added Aós, who replaced the archbishop of Santiago Ricardo Ezzati, who is currently accused of covering up abuses. .

The religious, who was placed in the place of Ezzati by Pope Francis, on March 23, added that "every time a wrong is committed, each time a sin is committed, another is abused, we have to react" .

"All the abuses that exist in Chile, the abuses of violence, the abuses of corruption, the abuse of manipulation, of sexuality, of effectiveness, all are rejected and we are all going to be together." This is not an issue that must be resolved only these priests here, "he said.

"We must learn to treat ourselves in a better way so that we can be better citizens so that we can be more brothers and sisters and build a better Chile, a better Church and a better world," he concluded.

The meeting of Aós with the abused priests, Eugenio de la Fuente, Sergio Cobo, Alejandro Vial and Javier Barros, is given within 24 hours of a ruling by the Court of Appeals of Santiago ordering the Archbishopric of Santiago to pay an indemnity of 300 million pesos (about 441 thousand dollars) to Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and José Andrés Murillo, the first complainants of Karadima.

The three of them filed a civil suit against the Archdiocese of Santiago on September 3, 2013 for the alleged cover-up of the abuses committed by Karadima, two years after he was condemned by the canonical Justice to a life of imprisonment and penance and that the process will not advance in the Criminal Justice, that although it confirmed as truthful the denunciations closed the process without condemnation by the prescription of the facts.

The Chilean National Prosecutor's Office investigates 219 Chilean religious in 158 cases of sexual abuse against 241 victims, of which 123 were minors at the time of the events.

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